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Case 76

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A 7-year-old male patient presents with burn wounds to the internal part of his right thigh.

Taking into account the lesion depicted in the image provided herein, the cause of such burn is exposure to:

a) An acid

25%

b) Electricity

25%

c) An alkali

25%

d) Heat

25%
   

Comments

- Electrical burns account for around 3-4% of all burn injuries, 40% of which are lethal.

- Incidence peaks during both childhood and adulthood. Domestic and occupational accidents help explain the latter.

- Effects of electrical current might be both local (burning and skin metallization) and systemic and they may vary according to the type, intensity and duration of the exposure.

- Death may ensue from inhibition of bulbar centers, asphyxia and haemodinamic collapse.

- The electric mark of Jellinek is a morphologic criterion for forensic diagnosis of an electrical injury.

References

- CALABUIG, JAG. Medicina Legal y Toxicologia. Cap. 43, p. 479-487, 1977

- FRANÇA, GV. Medicina Legal, 9ª ed. Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan, 2011

- HERCULES, HC. Medicina Legal – Texto e Atlas. São Paulo: Atheneu, 2005

- JELLINEK. Electrical Accidents from the Clinical and Forensic Standpoint. Viena, 1912

- Uptodate: environmental electrical injuries, classification of burns, topical chemical burns

Author

Glauber Coutinho Eliazar, 5th year medical student of UFMG School of Medicine (glaubereliazar[arroba]gmail.com)

Advisors

Vanessa Fortes Zschaber Marinho, Coroner in the Department of Forensic Anthropology of the  Forensic Medicine Institute of Belo Horizonte/MG and member of the Department of Anatomical Pathology and Legal Medicine (UFMG School of Medicine).

(vanessa.zschaber[arroba]gmail.com)

Márcio Alberto Cardoso, Coroner in the Department of Forensic Anthropology of the Forensic Medicine Institute of Belo Horizonte/MG and member of the Department of Anatomical Pathology and Legal Medicine (UFMG School of Medicine).

(marcioac[arroba]icb.ufmg)

Reviewers

Fabiana Pereira and Rafael Tavares

Commentics

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