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The Flap by Flap Dissection in Terminal Ballistic Applied to Less Lethal Weapons

de Freminville, Humbert MD, MSc; Rongieras, Fréderic MD, MSc; Prat, Nicolas MD, MSc; Voiglio, Eric J. MD, PhD, FACS, FRCS

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: June 2011 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 149-152
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181d03eba
Original Articles

Medical examiners often have to solve questions such as firing distance and bullet trajectory for lethal weapons. Knowledge in the field of terminal ballistics has increased during the last 30 years and layer by layer dissection reveals superficial wounds that can be linked with the permanent cavity. At the end of the 1990s, terminal ballistics also focused on less lethal weapons and their wounds. Here, 2 different less lethal weapons with single bullets were tested on nonembalmed and undressed cadavers (N = 26) at different ranges and speeds. We have developed a technique for dissection which we call flap by flap dissection that reveals the advantage of the bullet-skin-bone entity, the absence of wounds linking its components and range of less lethal weapons.

From the UMRESTTE UMR T 9405, Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, F-69373 Lyon Cedex, France.

Manuscript received April 21, 2009; accepted September 18, 2009.

Reprints: Humbert de Freminville, MD, MSc, UMRESTTE UMR T 9405, Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Faculté de Médecine Lyon-Est Claude Bernard, 8, Rockefeller Ave, F-69373 LYON Cedex 08, France. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.