Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2011 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 > Foreign Body Penetration of the Fontanelle: Mechanisms and M...
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American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e318221bc5a
Case Reports

Foreign Body Penetration of the Fontanelle: Mechanisms and Manner of Death

Byard, Roger W. MBBS, MD*; Blumbergs, Peter MBBS*†

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Penetrating injuries of the anterior fontanelle are exceedingly uncommon and are most often associated with inflicted injury. This report of an 11-month-old boy, who fell backward onto a lampshade strut that penetrated his anterior fontanelle and left frontal lobe, demonstrates that accidental injuries may also rarely occur. Death was due to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy complicating raised intracranial pressure after a penetrating injury of the brain. Careful evaluation of the death scene with reconstruction incorporating the autopsy findings was required to establish the veracity of the history and the credibility of the proposed sequence of events. Mechanisms of death after penetrating injuries of the fontanelle include immediate effects from direct damage to cerebral vital structures or blood vessels with hemorrhage or delayed effects from either cerebral edema with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or sepsis.

© 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


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