Mechanical Trauma and Classification of Wounds

Burkhard Madea*, Stefan Pollak, Annette Thierauf, Christoph Meissner, Manfred Oehmichen, Peter Mygind Leth

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


In the area of forensic medicine several types of wounds are differentiated according to their origin: blunt force injury, sharp force injury, gunshot wounds, strangulation, injuries due to heat and coldness. Mechanical destruction of the vital organs occurs, for example, in cases of multiple trauma caused by traffic accidents, falls from a height or railway accidents. The forensic neuropathologist can provide answers to: (i) the cause and time of death; (ii) the type, biomechanics and time of the traumatic event; (iii) information about neuropathological changes which may have influenced the fatal mechanism; (iv) the ability of the victim to act at a given time point; and (v) the mode of death. It is the forensic neuropathologist's task to give a detailed and plausible reconstruction of the events leading to the death, and to provide information about the time course of the neuropathological findings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Forensic Medicine
Number of pages75
Publication date05.05.2014
ISBN (Print)9780470979990
ISBN (Electronic)9781118570654
Publication statusPublished - 05.05.2014


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