<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 22, Issue 4, December 2014

Rom J Leg Med22(4)245-248(2014)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

The volume of postmortem bleeding in drowning victims having sustained blunt thoracic aortic injury resulting from vehicular accidents

I. Curovic, N. Radojevic, R. Lazovic

Abstract: Recent studies have shown that 1500 mL of blood found in the intrapleural cavity due to blunt thoracic aortic injuries, should be considered as postmortem in the cases of immediate deaths. Considering that drowning lasts for 4 to 5 minutes, the question is about if that time period has an influence to the volume of antemortem exsanguinated blood if accompanied with aortic rupture. A retrospective study determined two groups out of which the first one consisted of vehicle occupants who fell in the river canyon and died from drowning accompanied by traumatic aortic rupture. The second group was comprised of vehicle occupants injured in conventional vehicle accidents where the occupants died from bleeding due to aortic rupture. The ROC curve is used to evaluate the cut-off value related to the volume of postmortem bleeding originating from aortic rupture and total exsanguinated blood. The study showed that the time elapsed during drowning did not significantly influence the volume of antemortem and postmortem blood. In cases of the blunt thoracic aortic injury with concomitant drowning as cause of death, volumes less than 1400 mL of intrapleural bleeding should be considered as mostly postmortem.
Keywords: aortic rupture, bleeding, canyon death, drowning, postmortem bleeding.

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