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Indian Journal of Forensic and Community Medicine

Iatrogenic cutaneous artefacts encountered during autopsy

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Author Details : SV Parate, AK Samanta, S Harish, Girish Chandra

Volume : 4, Issue : 2, Year : 2017

Article Page : 121-123

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Introduction and Objective: In this 21st century autopsy surgeon often encounters various types of treatment related injuries during autopsies. They must be able to distinguish between injuries caused by therapeutic procedures and those caused by other factors, such as assaults and accidents. This prospective study was conducted at M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, from October 2008 to March 2010 with aims and objectives to study the pattern of Iatrogenic cutaneous artefacts encountered during autopsy and to ascertain the relationship of Iatrogenic cutaneous artefacts to sex of the deceased if any.
Materials and Method: Data was collected by detailed questionnaire, focusing on the history furnished by the police in requisition form and inquest report, by the relatives and hospital records.
Result: Iatrogenic cutaneous artefact was present in 58.13% cases. Out of these 34.38% were males and 23.75% were females. Most common cutaneous artefact was intravenous injection line mark mimicking like contusion. It was present in 45.00% cases. Defibrillator burn artefact was present in 12.80% cases. Chest abrasion/contusion was present in 13.13% cases. Iatrogenic cutaneous artefacts were found to be independent and there is no relation between these artefacts and sex of the deceased.
Discussion: In a prospective study by JP Krischer, EG Fine, JH Davis and EL Nagel defibrillator burn artefact was found in 30.70 % cases and chest abrasion/contusion was present in 59.30% cases. This may be because of increase awareness regarding proper use of Defibrillator.
Conclusion: Whenever in doubt about nature of infliction of injury autopsy surgeon should refer hospital case sheet particularly emergency room records and may have talk with treating doctor whenever possible before labelling such injury as evidence of underlying assault, accident or an artefact.

Artefact, Iatrogenic, Autopsy


How to cite : Parate S, Samanta A, Harish S, Chandra G, Iatrogenic cutaneous artefacts encountered during autopsy. Indian J Forensic Community Med 2017;4(2):121-123

Copyright © 2017 by author(s) and Indian J Forensic Community Med. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) (