William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Friday, 14, October, 2011

Burns and Electrocutions

Filed under: Forensics,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 12:03

Shocking that this is so late…
Burns, Explosions, Electrocutions
I. Thermal injuries
A. Classification of burns
1. First degree—sunburn, superficial
2. Second degree—blistering
3. Third degree—full thickness burns
No pain, scar
Contractutres and keloids
4. Fourth degree burns—charring
5. Severity—
a. Intensity of heat
b. Duration of exposure
c. How hot object conducts heat/density
Cell injury 65 C 149 F protein denaturati0n, burn toxins.
Early death shock, late (week) uremia
B. Rule of nines
1. Head 9 %
2. Trunk 18%
3. Back 18%
4. Arms 9%
5. Legs 18%
6. Gentials 1%
7. Different for kids

C. Incineration of bodies
1. Cremation 1.5h at 1500 F $8.00 natural gas
2. House fire under 1300 F
3. Obesity adds fuel,
4. Clothes may protect or act as wicks
a. Mr. Roberts shirts
b. Polyester melts
5. Rayon “Mother-in-law silk”

D. Fire artifacts
1. Heat fixation
2. Heat desquamation
3. Pugilistic attitude
4. Skin splits
a. follow muscle fibers
b. perpendicular due to trauma
5. Epidural
a. blood boils in brain out of saggital sinus
6. Heat fractures
7. Decomposition delayed, cooking

1. Flash fires
a. Granger road accident
b. Self-immolation
2. Can be quite high
3. Higher CO, better health of victim

F. Soot below larynx

G. Scalding
1. Liquids over 120F
2. Mouth more resistant than skin
3. Palm more resistant than face,
4. Duration 20 s 131 F, 1s @ 150 F
5. Clothing worsens damage

II. Bombs
A. Identification & reconstruction

B. Blast
1. “overpressure”
2. Burst eardrums, hollow viscera
3. Injury to lungs
4. Trauma

C. Fire
1. High order explosions
a. Liberate lot of energy
b. Conversion of chemical to thermal energy

2. Incendiary
3. Napalm
a. 1800 F
b. Jellied gasoline Napthitic and palmitic acids (detergent)
c. Sticks and burns
d. Asphyxia flash and inhalation
4. Magnesium, Phosphorus
a. Burn really hot
b. Burn on contact with water

D. Projectiles

E. Home made bombs
1. Molotov cocktails
2. Practice grenades
3. Smoke grenades
4. Pipe bombs
5. 1 pint of gasoline energy of 2 sticks of dynamite
6. Plastique

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