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American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000112
Letter to the Editor

Blast-Induced Lacerations—More Examples of the Diagnostic Entity

Tiemensma, Marianne MBChB FC For Path MMed For Path; Wadee, Shabbir Ahmed BSc, MBChB FC For Path

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Clinical Forensic Unit Victoria Hospital Cape Town, South Africa Marianne.Tiemensma@westerncape.gov.za

Division of Forensic Medicine Department of Pathology University of Stellenbosch Cape Town, South Africa

Division of Forensic Medicine Department of Pathology University of Stellenbosch Cape Town, South Africa

To the Editor

In an article on the pathologic features of suicidal deaths caused by explosives,1 the authors describe the phenomenon of “blast-induced lacerations.” These wounds were described to have “superficially sharp-edged wound margins with bridging in the depths of the lesions.” They suggest that these injuries may be considered typical for blast-induced lacerations and describe it as a “diagnostic entity.”

Similar-type injuries (in addition to flash burns, numerous fractures, amputations) were observed by us, during the performance of autopsies on the bodies of 2 adult men who died as a result of an industrial gas explosion, in a warehouse in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa. Numerous of these so-called blast-induced lacerations were present, which consisted, as previously described, of wounds with sharply defined margins with tissue bridging and crushing and bruising of the underlying muscles and soft tissue (Figs. 1 and 2).

FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1
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FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2
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These serve as additional examples of blast-induced lacerations, and we support the previous authors’ view that it should be recognized as a diagnostic entity, especially as explosions are becoming more common in the nonmilitary environment.2

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AUTHOR DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Marianne Tiemensma, MBChB
FC For Path MMed For Path
Clinical Forensic Unit
Victoria Hospital
Cape Town, South Africa
Marianne.Tiemensma@westerncape.gov.za
Shabbir Ahmed Wadee, BSc, MBChB
FC For Path
Division of Forensic Medicine
Department of Pathology
University of Stellenbosch
Cape Town, South Africa

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REFERENCES

1. Tsokos M, Turk E, Madea B, et al. Pathologic features of suicidal deaths caused by explosives. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2003; 24: 55–63.

2. Durak D, Fedakar R, Turkmen N, et al. Blast injury: lessons learned from autopsy. Hong Kong Med J. 2008; 14: 489–491.

Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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