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  University of Minnesota Forensics

Accidental death Décès accidentel, mort accidentelle

Aconite Aconit
Plante fort vénéneuse, de la famille des renonculacées.

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.

Aconite (Aconitum Napellus, monkshood). — Root and leaves. Poisonous property depends upon an alkaloid, aconitine. Aconite is one of the constituents of St. Jacob's Oil.

Symptoms. — Numbness and tingling in mouth, throat, and stomach, giddiness, loss of sensation, deafness, dimness of sight, paralysis, first of the lower and then of the upper extremities, vomiting, and shallow respiration. Pupils dilated. Pulse small, irregular, finally imperceptible. The mind remains unaffected. Death often sudden.

Post-Mortem Appearances. — Venous congestion, engorgement of brain and membranes.

Treatment. — Emetics, stimulants freely. Best antidote is sulphate of atropine, 1/50 grain hypodermically, and also strychnine. Digitalis also useful. Warmth to whole body. Patient to make no exertion.

Fatal Dose. — Of root or tincture, 1 drachm.

Fatal Period. — Average, less than four hours.

Method of Extraction from the Stomach, etc. — Extraction from contents of stomach by Stas-Otto process. It may be found in the urine ; gives usual alkaloidal reactions, but no distinctive chemical test known.

Tests. — Chiefly physiological ; tingling and numbness when applied to tongue or inner surface of cheek. Effects on mice, etc. A cadaveric alkaloid or ptomaine has been found in the body, possessing many of the actions of aconitine. The presence of this substance was suggested in the Lamson trial.

The Indian aconite, Aconitum ferox, the Bish poison, is much more active than the European variety. It contains a large proportion of pseudaconitine, and is frequently employed in India, not only for the destruction of wild beasts, but for criminal purposes.

Aconitine varies much in activity according to its mode of preparation and the source from which it is derived. The most active kind is probably made from A. ferox.

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

Anatomopathologist Anatomopathologiste

Anatomopathology Anatomopathologie

Angle of torsion Angle de torsion

Anthropologist Anthropologue

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 Asphyxie
Suspension de la respiration et état de mort apparente ou imminente par submersion, strangulation, action de gaz irrespirables, etc.

« 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

Autopsy Autopsie
L'autopsie médico-légale pratiquée à la requète de l'autorité judiciaire (procureur de la République ou juge d'Instruction) a pour but d'établir les circonstances et les causes exactes des décès. Si les présomptions de mort suspecte sont confirmées, une enquête policière sera initiée .
C'est le cas notamment des enquêtes ordonnées par le parquet concernées par la veille sanitaire (épidémies, pandémies), les affaires criminelles, l’accidentologie, la détermination de responsabilités, les morts de la rue (SDF, sans-abris), morts en prison etc...

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

Biometry Biométrie

Biopsy Biopsie

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

Bruising Contondant(e)

BTX Botulinum Toxin

Buckshot wounds Blessures par chevrotine - See PubMed Buckshot wounds

Bullet Balle

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 cadavérique
La rigidité cadavérique apparaît de 4 à 6 heures après le décès et atteint son maximum entre 12 h. et 18 h. Elle diminue ensuite graduellement.

« 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
Poisonous at high doses steroid glycosides extracted from digitalis or scilla maritima induces heart electrophysiologic impairment by mean of an elevation of intracellular Ca++. This reduction of conductivity, with changes in the electric potential of membranes, within atrio ventricular node are involved by the inhibition of the Na+ - K+ ATPase exchange. - DRB - - See PubMed Cardiac glycosides

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

Chloroform Chloroforme
Substance liquide, incolore, oléagineuse, aromatique, obtenue en traitant l'alcool par les hypochlorites, particulièrement par celui de chaux, et qui a, comme l'éther, la propriété de produire l'anesthésie.

Chloroform. — A colourless liquid, specific gravity 1.490 to 1.495, very volatile, giving off dense vapour. Sweet taste and pleasant odour.

Symptoms. — When swallowed, characteristic smell in breath, anxious countenance, burning pain in the throat, stomach, and region of the abdomen, staggering gait, coldness of the extremities, vomiting, insensibility, deepening into coma, with stertorous breathing, dilated pupils, and imperceptible pulse. When inhaled, much the same as ether, but produces insensibility and muscular relaxation more rapidly. It would be impossible to instantly render a person insensible by holding a pocket-handkerchief saturated with chloroform over the face. Statements such as this, which are often made in cases of robbery from the person and in cases of rape, are incredible.

Delayed Chloroform-Poisoning. — Death may take place in from four to seven days after chloroform has been administered, especially in the case of children. The internal organs are found to be fattily degenerated, and death is thought to be due to acetonuria.

Post-Mortem Appearances. — Cerebral and pulmonary congestion. Heart empty, or right side distended with dark blood.

Treatment. — Stomach-tube and free lavage ; cold affusion ; drawing forward tongue ; artificial respiration ; galvanism and suspension with head downward. Inhalation of nitrite of amyl ; strychnine hypodermically.

Fatal Dose. — When swallowed, from 1 to 2 ounces.

Method of Extraction from the Stomach. — By distillation at 120° F. The vapour, as it passes along a glass tube, may be decomposed by heat into chlorine, hydrochloric acid, and carbon — the first shown by setting free iodine in iodide of starch, the second by reddening blue litmus-paper, and the last by its deposit.

Tests. — Taste, colour, weight ; burns with a green flame ; dissolves camphor, guttapercha, and caoutchouc.

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)

Cocaïne Cocaine
Alcaloïde naturel trouvé dans les feuilles de l'erythroxylon coca.

Cocaine. — Any dose above 1/2 grain (about 30 mg.) applied to a mucous membrane or injected hypodermically may give rise to alarming symptoms. These are intense pallor, faintness, giddiness, dilatation of pupils, paroxysmal dyspnœa, rapid, intermittent, and weak pulse, nausea and vomiting, intense prostration verging on collapse, and convulsions. The patient may recover if allowed to remain in a recumbent position, but stimulants by mouth — e.g., ammonia — and the hypodermic injection of brandy or ether may be necessary, with the inhalation of nitrite of amyl.

The Cocaine Habit consists in the self-administration of the drug hypodermically. It induces excitement, which is followed by prostration. In time melancholia or mania develops, with great irritation of the skin ('cocaine bugs'). W.G. Aitchison Robertson, Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).

COD Cause Of Death

Coitus Post Mortem Coït Post Mortem

Cold chamber Chambre froide

Cold gangrene Gangrène par gelure

Coma Coma

« 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

Coprophilia Coprophilie

Coprophilous Coprophile

Compression Écrasement

Compression fracture Fracture par écrasement

Contact wound Blessure par balle avec contact

Contusing Contondant(e)

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

Criminologist Criminologue

Criminology Criminologie

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

Cut Coupure

Dead Mort(e)

Dead-deal Table d'autopsie

Deadly Mortel(-elle)

Death Décès, mort
Fin de la vie. On distingue la mort naturelle et la mort accidentelle.

« 1 - Cadaveric appearance ; ashy white colour.
2 - Cessation of the circulation and respiration, no sound being heard by the stethoscope. Cessation of the circulation may be determined by (a) placing a ligature round the base of a finger (Magnus' test) ; (b) injecting a solution of fluorescin (Icard's test) ; (c) looking through the web of the fingers at a bright light (diaphanous test) ; (d) the dulling of a steel needle when thrust into the living body ; (e) the clear outline of the dead heart when viewed in the fluorescent screen.
3 - The state of the eye ; the tension is at once lost ; iris insensible to light, fundus yellow in colour ; cornea dull and sunken.
4 - The state of the skin ; pale, livid, with loss of elasticity.
5 - Extinction of muscular irritability. The above signs afford no means of determining how long life has been extinct. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).

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
« Death by drowning occurs when breathing is arrested by watery or semi-fluid substances—blood, urine, etc. The fluid acts mechanically by entering the air-cells of the lung and preventing the due oxidation of the blood. The post-mortem appearances include those usually present in death by asphyxia, together with the following, peculiar to death by drowning: Excoriations of the fingers, with sand or mud under the nails ; fragments of plants grasped in the hand ; water in the stomach (this is a vital act, and shows that the person fell into the water alive) ; fine froth at the mouth and nostrils ; cutis anserina ; retraction of penis and scrotum. On post-mortem examination, the lungs are found to be increased in size ('ballooned') ; on section, froth, water mud, sand, in air-tubes. The presence of this fine (often blood-stained) froth is the most characteristic sign of drowning. Froth like that of soap-suds in the trachea is an indication of a vital act, and must not be mistaken for the tenacious mucus of bronchitis. The presence of vomited matters in the trachea and bronchi is a valuable sign of drowning. The blood collects in the venous system, and is dark and fluid. Tardieu's spots are not so frequently met with in cases of drowning as in other forms of asphyxia. The other signs of death by asphyxia are present. Wounds may be present on the body, due to falling on stakes, injuries from passing vessels, etc.

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
« In hanging, death occurs by asphyxia, as in drowning. Sensibility is soon lost, and death takes place in four or five minutes. The eyes in some cases are brilliant and staring, tongue swollen and livid, blood or bloody froth is found about the mouth and nostrils, and the hands are clenched. In other cases the countenance is placid, with an almost entire absence of the signs just given. The mark on the neck, which may be more or less interrupted by the beard, shows the course of the cord, which in hanging is obliquely round the neck following the line of the jaw, but straight round in strangulation. In judicial hanging, death is not due to asphyxiation, but, owing to the long drop, the cervical vertebræ are dislocated, and the spinal cord injured so high up that almost instant death takes place. On dissection the muscles and ligaments of the windpipe may be found stretched, bruised, or torn, and the inner coats of the carotid arteries are sometimes found divided. In ordinary suicidal hanging there may be entire absence of injury to the soft parts about the neck, the length of the drop modifying these appearances. The mark of the cord is not a sign of hanging, is a purely cadaveric phenomenon, and may be produced some hours after death. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).

Death by lightning Mort par fulguration
« The signs of death from lightning vary greatly. In some cases there are no signs ; in others the body may be most curiously marked. Wounds of various characters — contused, lacerated, and punctured — may be produced. There may be burns, vesications, and ecchymoses ; arborescent markings are not uncommon. The hair may be singed or burnt and the clothing damaged. Rigor mortis is very rapid in its onset and transient. Post mortem there are no characteristic signs, but the blood may be dark in colour and fluid. The presence or absence of a storm may assist the diagnosis.

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
« This differs from hanging in that the body is not suspended. It may be effected by a ligature round the neck, or by direct pressure on the windpipe with the hand, in which case death is said to be caused by throttling. Strangulation is frequently suicidal, but may be accidental. When homicidal, much injury is done to the neck, owing to the force with which the ligature is drawn. In throttling, the marks of the finger-nails are found on the neck. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).

Death by suffocation Mort par asphyxie, mort par suffocation
« Signs and Symptoms. — There are usually three stages:

1 - Exaggerated respiratory activity; air hunger; anxiety; congested appearance of face; ringing in ears.
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
« Burns are caused by flames, highly heated solids, or very cold solids, as solid carbonic acid ; scalds, by steam or hot fluids. Burns may cause death from shock, suffocation, œdema glottidis, inflammation of serous surfaces, bronchitis, pneumonia, duodenal ulcer, coma, or exhaustion. A burn of the skin inflicted during life is followed by a bleb containing serum ; the edges of this blister are bright red, and the base, seen after removing the cuticle, is red and inflamed ; if sustained after death, a bleb, if present, contains but little fluid, and there are no signs of vital reaction. There are six degrees of burns : (1) Superficial inflammation ; (2) formation of vesicles ; (3) destruction of superficial layer of skin ; (4) destruction of cellular tissue ; (5) deep parts charred ; (6) carbonization of bones.

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
« The weak, aged, or infants, readily succumb to low temperatures. The symptoms are increasing lassitude, drowsiness, coma, with sometimes illusions of sight. Post mortem, bright red patches are found on the skin surface, and the blood remains fluid for long. », W.G. Aitchison Robertson Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1922).

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
« The post-mortem appearances in death from starvation are as follows : There is marked general emaciation ; the skin is dry, shrivelled, and covered with a brown, bad-smelling excretion ; the muscles soft, atrophied, and free from fat ; the liver is small, but the gall-bladder is distended with bile. The heart, lungs, and internal organs are shrivelled and bloodless. The stomach is sometimes quite healthy ; in other cases it may be collapsed, empty, and ulcerated. The intestines are also contracted, empty, and translucent.

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

Decoagulation Fibrinolyse

Decollation Décollation

Decomposition Décomposition

Defacing, defacement Défiguration

Defenestrate .v. Défenestrer

Dental impression Empreinte de denture

DI Date of Injury

Digitalis Digitale
Terme de botanique. Plante de la famille des scrofulariées, ainsi dite de la forme de sa corolle, qui ressemble à un doigtier renversé. Digitale pourprée, doigtier, gantelée, doigt de Notre-Dame (digitalis purpurea, L.), reconnaissable à ses longs épis de grandes fleurs pourprées campaniformes, tachetées, dans l'intérieur de la corolle, de points noirs entourés d'un cercle blanchâtre. Elle est diurétique et diminue la fréquence des battements du coeur.

Fausse digitale, nom vulgaire du dracocéphale virginien (labiées).

Petite digitale, nom vulgaire de la gratiole officinale.

All parts of the plant Digitalis purpurea (purple foxglove) are poisonous. Contains the glucoside digitalin and other active principles.

Symptoms. — Nausea, vomiting, purging, and abdominal pains. Vomited matter grass-green in colour. Headache, giddiness, and loss of sight ; pupils dilated, insensitive ; pulse weak, remarkably slow and irregular ; cold sweat. Salivation occasionally, or syncope and stupor. Death sometimes quite suddenly.

Post-Mortem Appearances. — Congested condition of brain and membranes ; inflammation of gastric mucous membrane.

Treatment. — Emetics freely ; infusions containing tannin, as coffee, tea, oak-bark, galls, etc. Stimulants. Hypodermic injection of 1/120 grain of aconitine.

Method of Extraction from the Stomach, etc. — Use Stas-Otto process.

Tests for Digitalin. — A white substance, sparingly soluble in water, not changed by nitric acid ; turns yellow, changing to green, with hydrochloric acid. The minutest trace of digitalin moistened with sulphuric and treated with bromine vapour gives a rose colour, turning to mauve. This is very delicate, but in experienced hands the physiological test is more reliable. The chemist who has had no practical experience in pharmacological methods would be wiser to keep to his chemical tests.

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)

DNA Uses for Forensic Identification

DOD Date Of Death

DOI Date Of Injury

Dying Mort

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)
Liquides très volatils qu'on obtient par la distillation d'un acide mêlé avec de l'alcool. Le mot éther a été introduit dans le langage chimique par Frobenius, en 1730, pour désigner ce liquide, déjà connu auparavant, qu'il appela ainsi probablement par allusion à sa légèreté et à sa volatilité. Éther nitrique. Éther sulfurique. Respirer de l'éther.

Éther minéral fossile, s'est dit quelquefois du naphte.

Ether is a volatile liquid prepared from ethylic alcohol by interaction with sulphuric acid. It contains 92 per cent. of ethyl oxide (C2H5)O. It was formerly called 'sulphuric ether.' It is a colourless, inflammable liquid, having a strong and characteristic odour, specific gravity 0.735. Purified ether from which the ethylic alcohol has been removed by washing with distilled water, and most of the water by subsequent distillation in the presence of calcium chloride and lime. It is this preparation which is used for the production of general anæsthesia. It has a specific gravity of 0.722 to 0.720, and its vapour is very inflammable.

Symptoms. — When taken as a liquid, same as alcohol. When inhaled as vapour, causes slow, prolonged, and stertorous breathing ; face becomes pale, lips bluish, surface of body cold. Pulse first quickens, then slows. Pupils dilated, eyes glassy and fixed, muscles become flabby and relaxed, profound anæsthesia. Then pulse sinks and coma ensues, sensation being entirely suspended. Nausea and vomiting not uncommon.

Post-Mortem Appearances. — Brain and lungs congested. Cavities of heart full of dark, liquid blood. Vessels at upper part of spinal cord congested.

Treatment. — Exposure to pure air, cold affusion, artificial respiration, galvanism.

Method of Extraction from the Contents of the Stomach. — Same as for alcohol. During distillation pass some of the vapour into concentrated solution of bichromate of potash, nitric and sulphuric acids, and note reaction as for alcohol.

Tests. — Vapour burns with smoky flame, depositing carbon. Sparingly soluble in water. With bichromate of potash and sulphuric acid same as alcohol.

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

Excrement Excrément

Exhumation Exhumation

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
Felonious homicide is murder. This means that a human being has been killed by another maliciously and deliberately or with reckless disregard of consequences.

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

Gangrene Gangrène

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).

Hæmatology Hématologie

Hæmoglobin Hémoglobine

Hæmolyse Hémolyse

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

Hemorrhagic Hémorragique

Hemorrhagy, hemorrhage Hémorragie

Hind head Occiput

Histology Histologie

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).
- See pubmed Hypostasis

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

Incest Inceste

INJ Injury

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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