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Craniocerebral Trauma Inflicted by Television Falls

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 56 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2011 Pages: 1049-1053
Jeremy Deisch, M.S.; Reade Quinton, M.D.; Amy C. Gruszecki, D.O.
Date Published
July 2011
5 pages
This study presents autopsy findings from two cases which illustrate injuries sustained from falling televisions.
Accidents and inflicted trauma account for 33 percent and 5-8 percent of childhood deaths, respectively. Injuries secondary to falling televisions have been reported in the clinical literature. However, descriptions of such injuries at autopsy are limited. The severity and patterns of injury may mimic those considered ''typical'' of inflicted trauma. Thus, integration of data from clinical, scene investigation, and autopsy is necessary for determination of the cause and manner of death. Findings common to both cases include subscalpular hemorrhages, skull fractures, subdural hemorrhages, brain injuries, and optic nerve sheath hemorrhages. The first case showed postsurgical changes secondary to evacuation of a posterior fossa hematoma; three-dimensional reconstruction of the admission computed tomography scan demonstrated the extent of the preintervention skull fractures. In addition, the second case showed a right epidural hematoma. Only case two showed retinal hemorrhage. (Published Abstract)