FORENSIC MEDICINE DICTIONARY - DICTIONNAIRE DE MÉDECINE LÉGALE
A - K
Accidental death Décès accidentel, mort accidentelle
ÉTYMOLOGIE Terme grec. D'après Théophraste, ce nom vient de Aconis, ville de Bithynie, où l'aconit était très abondant. D'autres le font venir du mot grec signifiant roche, parce que l'aconit croît dans les lieux rocailleux.
W.G. Aitchison Robertson, Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
ADFS Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (USA)
After-born child Enfant posthume
Age at death Âge au décès
AGSW Abdominal Gun Shot Wound
Alcoholic insanity Démence alcoolique
« This may occur in three forms :1 - Acute Alcoholic Delirium (mania a potu), due to excessive amount of alcohol consumed.
2 - Delirium Tremens, due to long-continued over-drinking. The patient suffers from horrible dreams, illusions, and suspicions, which may lead him to attack people or commit suicide.
3 - Chronic Alcoholic Insanity. Loss of memory is the chief symptom, with paralysis of motion, hallucinations and delusions of persecution. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson, Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Anal sadism Sadisme anal
Angle of torsion Angle de torsion
ANZFMS Australian and New Zealand Forensic Medicine Society
APUD Amine Precursor Uptake Decarboxylase
Arsenic poisoning Empoisonnement par l'arsenic - See Pubmed Arsenic poisoning
ASAF Autopsie Suicide par Arme à Feu
« Asphyxia, or death beginning at the lungs, may be due to obstruction of the air-passages from foreign bodies in the larynx, drowning, suffocation, strangling, and hanging ; from injury to the cervical cord ; effusion into the pleuræ, with consequent pressure on the lungs ; embolism of the pulmonary artery ; and from spasmodic contraction of the thoracic and abdominal muscles in strychnine-poisoning.
The symptoms of this condition are fighting for breath, giddiness, relaxation of the sphincters, and convulsions.
Post mortem, cadaveric lividity is well marked, especially in nose, lips, ears, etc. ; the right cavities of the heart and the venæ cavæ are found gorged with dark fluid blood. The pulmonary veins, the left cavities of the heart, and the aorta, are either empty or contain but little blood. The lungs are dark and engorged with blood, and the lining of the air-tubes is bright red in colour. Much bloody froth escapes on cutting into the lungs. Numerous small hæmorrhages (Tardieu's spots) are found on the surface and in the substance of the internal organs, as well as in the skin of the neck and face. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Attempted suicide Faux suicide
Autoloader rifle Carabine à chargement automatique
L'autopsie consiste en un examen anatomo-pathologique permettant de préciser les causes médiates ou immédiates de la mort ; telles que date et heure du décès, décés hors d'eau ou par noyade, présence de substances toxiques, arrêt cardio-respiratoire (pistolets incapacitants par ex.) etc...
L'identification des corps est assurée par la brigade d’identification judiciaire.
- See PubMed Autopsy
Autopsy room Salle d'autopsie
BEA Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses
BHT Blunt Head Trauma - See PubMed BHT
Bleeding to death Mort par hémorragie
Blunt abdominal trauma Trauma abdominal ferme, traumatisme contondant
Blunt object Objet contondant
Brain death Mort cérébrale (cessation complète de toutes les fonctions du cerveau) - See PubMed Brain death
Brain pan Boîte cranienne
Bruise .v. Contusionner .subs. Contusion, écrasement
BTX Botulinum Toxin
Buckshot wounds Blessures par chevrotine - See PubMed Buckshot wounds
Bullet wound Blessure par projectile, plaie par projectile - See PubMed Bullet wound
Bullet wound in the skull Blessure cranienne par balle
CAMS Child Abuse Maltreatment Syndrome
Carbon monoxide poisoning Asphyxie par l'oxyde de carbone, asphyxie oxycarbonée (la mort survient quand la saturation en oxyde de carbone atteint 80%)
Carboxyl group (The acid group -COOH) Groupe carboxyle, groupe carboxylique
Carboxyl terminus Terminaison carboxylique
Carboxylase Carboxylase (An enzyme)
Carboxylate .v. Carboxyler
Cadaveric rigidity Lat. Rigor mortis Rigidité
« For some time after death the muscles continue to contract under stimuli. When this irritability ceases and it seldom exceeds two hours rigidity and hardening sets in, and in all cases precedes putrefaction. It is caused by the coagulation of the muscle plasma. It commences in the muscles of the back of the neck and lower jaw, and then passes into the muscles of the face, front of the neck, chest, upper extremities, and lastly to the lower extremities.
It has been noticed in the new-born infant, as well as in the fœtus. It lasts from sixteen to twenty hours or more. In lingering diseases, after violent exertion, and in warm climates, it sets in quickly, and disappears in two or three hours ; in those who are in perfect health and die from accident or asphyxia, it may not come on until from ten to twenty-four hours, and may last three or four days. After death from convulsions or strychnine-poisoning, the body may pass at once into rigor mortis. Rigor mortis must be distinguished from cadaveric spasm or the death clutch ; in the former, articles in the hands are readily removable, in the latter this is not the case. In tetanic spasm the limbs when bent return to their former position ; not so in rigor mortis. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Cadaverine Cadavérine (1,5-diaminopentane, C4H12N2 or NH2 - (CH2)5.NH2 ) Colourless sirupy liquid amine formed by the bacterial decomposition of diamino acids (lysine) by decarboxylation in putrefaction of flesh.
Cardiac arrest Arrêt cardiaque
Cardiac death Cardioplégie, mort cardiaque
Cardiac glycosides Glycosides cardiaques
Carina reflex Réflexe tussigène de l'éperon trachéal
Cataleptic rigor mortis Rigidité cataleptique de l'exitus
Catalyse .v. Catalyser
Cause of death Cause de décès
CCCT Closed CranioCerebral Trauma
CD Cause of Death - See CM, COD
Cellular rupture Éclatement des cellules
Cerebral death Mort cérébrale (total cessation of all brain functions)
Cessation of life Cessation de la vie
Cessation of spontaneous breathing movements Cessation des mouvements respiratoires spontanés
CHI Closed Head Injury - See PubMed CHI
Chill of death Froideur cadavérique
W.G. Aitchison Robertson, Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Choking death Mort par suffocation
Circulatory arrest Arrêt circulatoire (état de mort apparente)
Circulatory relief syndrome Syndrome circulatoire par arrêt d'activité
Clinical death Mort clinique
CM Lat. Causa Mortis - See COD
CMLHHU Collégiale des Médecins Légistes Hospitaliers et Hospitalo-Universitaires (FR)
COD Cause Of Death
Coitus Post Mortem Coït Post Mortem
Cold chamber Chambre froide
Cold gangrene Gangrène par gelure
« Coma, or death beginning at the brain, may arise from concussion ; compression ; cerebral pressure from hæmorrhage and other forms of apoplexy ; blocking of a cerebral artery from embolism ; dietetic and uræmic conditions ; and from opium and other narcotic poisons.
The symptoms of this condition are stupor, loss of consciousness, and stertorous breathing.
The post-mortem signs are congestion of the substance of the brain and its membranes, with accumulation of the blood in the cavities of the heart, more on the right side than on the left.
It must be remembered that, owing to the interdependence of all the vital functions, there is no line of demarcation between the various modes of death. In all cases of sudden death think of angina pectoris and the rupture of an aneurism. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Coprophagist, coprophagous Coprophage
Compression fracture Fracture par écrasement
Contact wound Blessure par balle avec contact
Contusion of the skull Contusion crânienne
Cooling of the body Refroidissement du corps
« The average internal temperature of the body is from 98° to 100° F. The time taken in cooling is from fifteen to twenty hours, but it may be modified by the kind of death, the age of the person, the presence or absence of clothing on the body, the surrounding temperature, and the stillness or otherwise of the air about the body. Still, the body, other things being equal, may be said to be quite cold in about twelve hours. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Copper plated bullet Balle cuivrée
Coroner's inquest suite Salle pour examen judiciaire post mortem
Corpse Cadavre, macchabée (maccabeus)
Cortical death Mort corticale (destruction of a part of the cortex)
Cranial trauma Traumatisme crânien
Cruelty Cruauté, sévices
Crush asphyxia Asphyxie par écrasement (compression thoracique ou abdominale) - See PubMed Crush asphyxia
Crush injury Lésion par écrasement
CSFS Canadian Society of Forensic Science
Dead-deal Table d'autopsie
Death Décès, mort
SIGNS OF DEATH
Death by atomic rays Mort par radioactivité
Death by decapitation Mort par décapitation
Death by detonation Décès par détonation, décès par traumatisme vibratoire
Death by drowning Mort par immersion, mort par submersion
The methods of performing artificial respiration in the case of the apparently drowned are the following (the best and most easily performed is Schäfer's prone pressure method) :
1 - Schäfer's — Place the patient on his face, with a folded coat under the lower part of the chest. Unfasten the collar and neckband. Go to work at once. Kneel over him athwart or on one side facing his head. Place your hands flat over the lower part of his back, and make pressure on his ribs on both sides, and throw the weight of your body on to them so as to squeeze out the air from his chest. Get back into position at once, but leave your hands as they were. Do this every five seconds, and get someone to time you with a watch. Keep this going for half an hour, and when you are tired get someone to relieve you.
Other people may apply hot flannels to the limbs and hot water to the feet. Hypodermic injections of 1/50 grain of atropine, suprarenal or pituitary extracts, may be found useful.
2 - Silvester's — In this method the capacity of the chest is increased by raising the arms above the head, holding them by the elbows, and thus dragging upon and elevating the ribs, the chest being emptied by lowering the arms against the sides of the chest and exerting lateral pressure on the thorax. The patient is in the supine position—but first the water must have been drained from the mouth and nose by keeping the body in the prone position. The tongue must be kept forward by transfixing with a pin.
3 - Marshall Hall's — This consists in placing the patient in the prone position, with a folded coat under the chest, and rolling the body alternately into the lateral and prone positions.
4 - Howard's — This consists in emptying the thorax by forcibly compressing the lower part of the chest ; on relaxing the pressure the chest again fills with air. Here the patient is placed in the supine position.
The objections to the supine position are that the tongue falls back, and not only blocks the entrance of air, but prevents the escape of water, mucus, and froth from the air-passages.
5 - Laborde's Method — This consists in holding the tongue by means of a handkerchief, and rhythmically drawing it out fully at the rate of fifteen times per minute. This excites the respiratory centre, and this method may be employed along with any of the other methods. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Death by exsanguination Mort par exsanguination
Death by hanging Mort par pendaison
Death by lightning Mort par fulguration
Injuries by electrical currents of high pressure are not uncommon ; speaking generally, 1,000 to 2,000 volts will kill. In America, where electricity is adopted as the official means of destroying criminals, 1,500 volts is regarded as the lethal dose, but there are many instances of persons having been exposed to higher voltages without bad effects. The alternating current is supposed to be more fatal than the continuous. Much depends on whether the contact is good (perspiring hands or damp clothes). Death has been attributed in these cases to respiratory arrest or sudden cessation of the heart's action. The best treatment is artificial respiration, but the inhalation of nitrite of amyl may prove useful. Rescuers must be careful that they, also, do not receive a shock. The patient should be handled with india-rubber gloves or through a blanket thrown over him. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Death by old age Mort par vieillissement
Death by poisoning Mort par empoisonnement
Death by strangulation Mort par strangulation
Death by suffocation Mort par asphyxie, mort par suffocation
2 - Loss of consciousness; convulsions; relaxation of sphincters.
3 - Respirations feeble and gasping, and soon cease; convulsions of stretching character; heart continues to beat for three to four minutes after breathing ceases.
Post-Mortem Appearances—External. — Cadaveric lividity well marked; nose, lips, ears, finger-tips almost black in colour; appearance may be placid or, if asphyxia has been sudden, the tongue may be protruded and eyeballs prominent, with much bloody mucus escaping from mouth and nose.
Internal. The blood is dark and remains fluid; great engorgement of venous system, right side of heart, great veins of thorax and abdomen, liver, spleen, etc. Lungs dark purple in colour; much bloody froth escapes on squeezing them; mucous lining of trachea and bronchi congested and bright red in colour; air-cells distended or ruptured; many small hæmorrhages on surface of lungs and other organs, as well as in their substance (Tardieu's spots), due to rupture of venous capillaries from increased vascular pressure. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Death caused by burns Mort par brûlures
The larger the area of skin burnt, the more grave is the prognosis. Burns of the abdomen and genital organs are especially dangerous. Young children are specially liable to die after burns. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Death caused by cold Mort par hypothermie
Death caused by defenestration Mort par défenestration
Death due to operations of war Décès par faits de guerre
Death from aspiration Mort par asphyxie de déglutition
Death from starvation Mort de famine
In the absence of any disease productive of extreme emaciation (e.g., tuberculosis, stricture of œsophagus, diabetes, Addison's disease), such a state of body will furnish a strong presumption of death by starvation.
In the case of children there is not always absolute deprivation of food, but what is supplied is insufficient in quantity or of improper quality. The defence commonly set up is that the child died either of marasmus or of tuberculosis.
In cases where it is alleged that a child has been starved and ill-used, one must examine the body for signs of neglect e.g., dirtiness of skin and hair, presence of vermin, bruises or skin eruptions. Compare its weight with a normal child of the same age and sex. If the disproportion be great and signs of neglect present, then the probability is great (provided there be no actual disease present) that the child has been starved. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Death in utero Mort utérine
Death throes Agonie
Deathblow Coup mortel
Defacing, defacement Défiguration
Defenestrate .v. Défenestrer
Dental impression Empreinte de denture
DI Date of Injury
Fausse digitale, nom vulgaire du dracocéphale virginien (labiées).
Petite digitale, nom vulgaire de la gratiole officinale.
W.G. Aitchison Robertson, Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Digitoxin Digitoxine See Cardiac glycosides, foxglove - See PubMed Digitoxin
Discharge summary Feuille médico-administrative
Dissection Dissection, nécrotomie
Distension edge of a bullet injury Collerette érosive, collerette d`érosion (zone d'abrasion laissée par l'entrée d'une balle)
DOD Date Of Death
DOI Date Of Injury
Dying of thirst Mort par soif
Electrocution with cardiac arrest Électrocution avec arrêt cardiaque
Emasculation Émasculation - See PubMed Emasculation
ENFSI European Network of Forensic Science Institute
Ether Éther (C2H5-O-C2H5)
Éther minéral fossile, s'est dit quelquefois du naphte.
W.G. Aitchison Robertson, Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Eventration Éventration (protrusion des intestins)
Execution by a firing squad Mort par les armes
Exhumation permit Permis d'exhumation, permis d'exhumer
Exhume .v. Exhumer
Fatal traumatic heart wounds Blessures traumatiques fatales au coeur - See PubMed Fatal traumatic heart wounds
Felonious homicide Homicide criminel
Fetal death Mort fœtale
Fingerprint Empreinte digitale
Fire arms Armes à feu
Fire halo Lèvres d'une plaie par balle
Forensic autopsy Autopsie judiciaire
Forensic chemistry Chimie médico-légale
Forensic diagnosis Diagnostic médico-légal sur restes
Forensic medicine Médecine légale
Forensic pathologist Médecin légiste
Forensic pathology index (USA, Florida, University college of medicine)
Forensic psychiatry Psychiatrie médico-légale, médecine légale psychiatrique
ForensicMed Forensic medicine for medical students. (UK)
Forensics The forensic science portal (CA)
Foxglove Lat. Digitalis purpurea, Scrophulariaceae, Digitale pourprée, doigt de la vierge, gant de Notre-Dame See Cardiac glycosides
Fracture of the base of the skull Fracture de la base du crâne
Fracture of the skull Fracture du crâne
Fracture of the skull-cap Fracture de la voûte du crâne
Full metal jacket bullet Balle à pointe chemisée (balle cuivrée)
Fundamental cause of death Cause fondamentale de décès
Funicular torsion Torsion du cordon spermatique
Genital maimings Mutilations génitales - See PubMed Genital maimings
Gruesome discovery Découverte macabre
GSW Gun Shot Wound / Blessure par balle
Gunshot areola Lèvres d'une plaie par balle
Gunshot injury of the skull Blessure du crâne par arme à feu
Gunshot wound Blessure par arme à feu
« These may be punctured, contused, or lacerated. Round balls make a larger opening than those which are conical. Small shot fired at a short distance make one large ragged opening ; while at distances greater than 3 feet the shot scatter and there is no central opening. The Lee-Metford bullet is more destructive than the Mauser. The former is the larger, but the difference in size is not great. The Martini-Henry bullet weighs 480 grains, the Lee-Metford 215, and the Mauser 173. Speaking generally, a gunshot wound, unlike a punctured wound, becomes larger as it increases in depth ; the aperture of entrance is round, clean, with inverted edges, and that of exit larger, less regular than that of entrance, and with everted edges.
In the case of high-velocity bullets from smooth-bore rifles, including the Mauser and Lee-Metford, the aperture of entry is small ; the aperture of exit is slightly larger, and tends to be more slit-like. There is but little tendency to carry in portions of clothing or septic material, and the wound heals by first intention, if reasonable precautions be taken. The external cicatrices finally look very similar to those produced by bad acne pustules.
The contents of all gunshot wounds should be preserved, as they may be useful in evidence. A pocket revolver, as a rule, leaves the bullet in the body.
Wounds inflicted by firearms may be due to accident, homicide, or suicide. Blackening of the wound, singeing of the hair, scorching of the skin and clothing, show that the weapon was fired at close quarters, whilst blackening of the hand points to suicide. Even when the weapon is fired quite close there may be no blackening of the skin, and the hand is not always blackened in cases of suicide. Smokeless powder does not blacken the skin. Wounds on the back of the body are not usually self-inflicted, but a suicide may elect to blow off the back of his head. A wound in the back may be met with in a sportsman who indulges in the careless habit of dragging a loaded gun after him. If a revolver is found tightly grasped in the hand it is probably a case of suicide, whilst if it lies lightly in the hand it may be suicide or homicide. If no weapon is found near the body, it is not conclusive proof that it is not suicide, for it may have been thrown into a river or pond, or to some distance and picked up by a passer-by.
A bullet penetrating the skull even from a distance of 3,000 yards may act as an explosive, scattering the contents in all directions ; but the bullet from a revolver will usually be found in the cranium.
The prognosis depends partly on the extent of the injury and the parts involved, but there is also risk from secondary hæmorrhage, and from such complications as pleurisy, pericarditis, and peritonitis. Death may result from shock, hæmorrhage, injury to brain or important nervous structures. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
HAM Hair Atomic Metallogram / Métallogramme atomique capillaire - See MAU, UAM
Hard contact wound Plaie à bout touchant
Head trauma Traumatisme crânien
Heart death Arrêt du coeur
Hemorrhagy, hemorrhage Hémorragie
Hind head Occiput
Hyoscine, hyoscyne Hyoscine See Serum of truth
Hypostasis Hypostase (congestion hypostatique)
« Hypostasis or post-mortem
staining is due to the settling down of the blood in the most dependent parts
of the body while the body is cooling. It is a sure sign of death, and occurs
in all forms of death, even in that due to hæmorrhage, although not so marked
in degree. Post-mortem staining (cadaveric lividity) begins to appear in from
eight to twelve hours after death, and its position on the body will help to determine
the length of time the body has lain in the position in which it was found. The
staining is of a dull red or slaty blue colour. It must be distinguished from
ecchymosis the result of a bruise, by making an incision into the part ; in the
case of hypostasis a few small bloody points of divided arteries will be seen,
in the case of ecchymosis the subcutaneous tissues are infiltrated with blood-clot.
Internally, hypostasis must not be mistaken for congestion of the brain or lungs,
or the results of inflammation of the intestines. If the intestine is pulled straight,
inflammatory redness is continuous, hypostasis is disconnected. About the neck
hypostasis must not be mistaken for the mark of a cord or other ligature. When
the blood is of a bright red colour after death (as happens in poisoning by CO
or HCN, or in death from cold), the hypostasis is bright red also.
», W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).
Identification with palatal rugae Identification par les crêtes palatines Lat. Rugae palatinae - See PubMed Palatal rugae
IML Institut Médico-Légal (FR)
Immersion-cold-damp injury Lésion d'immersion due à l'eau et au froid
Injury Blessure, lésion
Intracranial haematoma Hématome intra-crânien
Irreversible cardiac arrest Arrêt cardiaque irréversible
Irreversible brain damage Lésions cérébrales irréversibles
Knifed in the back Poignardé dans le dos
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