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American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000079
Case Reports

Instantaneous Death Due to Transorbital Reverse Penetration of a Screw in an Accidental Fall: Unusual Autopsy Case Report and Review of the Literature

Gioia, Sara MD; Bacci, Mauro MD; Lancia, Massimo MD; Carlini, Luigi MD; Suadoni, Fabio MD

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Abstract

We present a peculiar autopsy case of a transorbital penetrating head injury, in a male worker, after an accidental fall onto a screw not completely stuck into a wooden board.A 13-cm screw entered the cranium 9.5 cm deep, penetrating with the flat end, a condition defined in literature as “reverse penetration.” The death was instantaneous and caused by a neurogenic shock due to injuries to the brain stem and the right cerebellar hemisphere.These injuries, enabled by the length of the screw, are generally described in literature as due to nontransorbital penetrations, frequently associated with posterior entry and a large intracranial injury.The ocular globe has been, furthermore, perfectly preserved thanks to its mobility in the orbit.Even the dynamic of the incident is peculiar because of the stationary nature of the penetrating object, which the victim actively fell on by accident.To the best of our knowledge, the matter is therefore a very peculiar mortal case of transorbital intracranial penetration, whose verified injuries and dynamics are absolutely atypical.The case is now under discussion, and a review of pertinent literature is performed.

Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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