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QuikClot Masquerading as Glaser Shot: A New Forensic Pathology Artifact?

Moeng, Shirley Faith Angela Portia MBBCh, Dip for Med; Moar, Joshua J. MBChB, MMed (Path Forens), FC For Path (CMSA), MSc (Med)

American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology: September 2012 - Volume 33 - Issue 3 - p 238–241
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182557c0a
Case Reports

Abstract: Although in the forensic sphere, Glaser ammunition or handgun shot cartridges represent one of the most significant advances in firearms ballistics in the past 100 years, the mineral-based zeolite hemostatic agent QuikClot represents a no less significant development in the surgical and clinical context of the trauma-induced management of battlefield wounding and hemorrhage. Because of the essential structural configuration of both Glaser ammunition and QuikClot, consisting as they do of metallic beads on the one hand and mineral-based spherules on the other, the possibility exists that a medicolegal autopsy on a victim of gunshot wounding and on whom surgery has been performed with introduction of QuikClot in an effort to stem bleeding, the spherules of QuikClot might be misinterpreted as the pellets of handgun shot cartridges.

We present a case of fatal wounding by a 9-mm handgun in which the discovery of QuikClot in the peritoneal cavity at autopsy initially raised the possibility of wounding by Glaser ammunition.

From the Department of Forensic Pathology, School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Manuscript received November 12, 2008; accepted June 24, 2009.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Shirley Faith Angela Portia Moeng, MBBCh, Dip for Med, Department of Forensic Pathology, School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. E-mail: moengsf@gmail.com.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.