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Fatal lawn mower related projectile injury

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Fatal lawn mower related injuries are a relatively rare occurrence. In a forensic setting, the primary aim is to reconstruct the injury mechanism and establish the cause of death. A relatively rare, but characteristic type of injury is a so-called projectile or missile injury. This occurs when the operator or a bystander is impacted by an object mobilized from the grass by the rotating mower blades. This type of injury often leaves only modest external trauma, which increases the risk of overlooking an entry wound. In this paper we present a case of a fatal lawn mower related projectile injury which was initially overlooked, later interpreted as a possible gunshot homicide, and finally identified as a lawn mower related projectile injury when autopsy revealed a piece of metal thread in the main bronchus to the right middle lobe, hemopericardium, and right-sided hemothorax. To our knowledge, this injury mechanism has not previously been reported as a cause of death. This case illustrates the importance of postmortem radiological imaging and interdisciplinary cooperation when establishing manner and cause of death in unusual cases.
TidsskriftForensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)229-233
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2014

ID: 105846727