This short video illustrates a simple injury located on the head above the so-called 'hatbrim-line'.
|Scooped by Richard Jones|
This video illustrates a (minor) head injury located above the so-called 'hatbrim-line'. Such injuries are frequently said to occur as a consequence of assault, rather than being sustained accidentally (for example, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18471221).
Watch the first half of the video and then pause for thought; can you say what sort of injury it is? How would you describe it in the patient's notes if you were examining them in an emergency medicine setting? What might have caused this injury?
When you think you can answer these questions, watch the remainder of the video to see what actually caused this injury (to me!).
You can see that there is evidence of contact between the scalp and the corner of the shelving unit - a small amount of blood, hairs and a bit of skin - which is something that forensic pathologists would take care to look for at the scene of the discovery of a body (or the location in which injury was thought to have been sustained). Such bodily traces could be sampled for subsequent DNA analysis by forensic scientists should that be necessary for 'reconstructing' the incident.
This example also shows that 'hard and fast rules' about the significance of the location of an injury on the head must always be treated with caution in forensic medicine, and one must consider potential explanations for an injury which do not involve assault.