Tournel G.,Forensic Institute |
Pollard J.,Forensic Institute |
Hedouin V.,Forensic Institute
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2014
A case of death attributed to methadone acute poisoning in an infant aged 11 months is reported. A sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) was suspected, whereas a traumatic cause of death was excluded regarding autopsy findings. Specimens were submitted to a large toxicological analysis, which included ethanol measurement by HS-GC-FID, a targeted screening for drugs of abuse and various prescription drug classes followed by quantification using UPLC-MS/MS methods. Methadone and its metabolite (EDDP) were detected in all the tested fluids, as well as in hair, with a blood concentration of methadone considered as lethal for children (73 ng/mL). The cause of death was determined to be acute "methadone poisoning", and the manner of death was "accidental". A discussion of the case circumstances, the difficulties with the interpretation of toxicological findings in children (blood concentration and hair testing), and the origin of exposure are discussed. © 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Popa G.,Institutul Of Studii Pentru Ordine Publica |
Potorac R.,Forensic Institute |
Preda N.,Forensic Service
Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2010
The aim of this study was to establish an estimation relationship of the age of fingerprints left on surfaces, by morphological, structural, macro- and microscopic examinations, together with biochemical and titration DNA tests in order to confirm the rate of biological degradation during a certain period. The capacity of counting the age of a fingerprint lead to the possibility to place it in time and to correlate it with the time of doing the criminal act, bringing us information about the presence of a person in a certain place and period. As research methods we used forensic techniques for fingerprints, as well as cytology and molecular biological methods (DNA analysis, DNA quantification with TaqMan using Real Time PCR). The estimation of the age of fingerprints using these methods offers us the advantages of standardization based on relationships between morphological or/and biochemical characteristics depending on time, as well as the possibility to assign as a rough guide a blood type to an individual. © 2010 Romanian Society of Legal Medicine.
Gauthier S.,University of Zürich |
Grass H.,University Hospitals |
Lory M.,Forensic Institute |
Kramer T.,University of Zürich |
And 2 more authors.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2012
The installation of wood pellet heating as a cost-effective and climatically neutral source of energy for private households has increased steadily in recent years. We report two deaths that occurred within the space of about a year in wood pellet storerooms of private households in German-speaking countries and were investigated by forensic medical teams. This is the first report of fatalities in this special context as is shown in the literature review. Both victims died of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning; one of the victims was a woman who was 4 months pregnant. Measurements at the scene detected life-threatening CO concentrations (7500 ppm, >500 ppm), which were not significantly reduced after ventilation of the storerooms as required by regulations. We carried out a series of experiments in order to confirm CO production by wood pellets. Thirty kilograms of freshly produced pellets from two different manufacturers were stored for 16 days in airtight containers at 26°C with different relative humidities. CO concentrations between 3100 and 4700 ppm were measured in all containers. There were no notable differences between the wood pellet products or storage at different humidities. Emission of CO from wood pellets has already been described, but fatal accidents have previously been reported only in association with pellet transport on cargo ships or storage in silos. It is therefore a new finding that fatal accidents may also occur in the wood pellet storerooms of private households. We show that significant CO concentrations can build up even when these rooms are ventilated in accordance with the regulations and that such levels may cause the death of healthy persons, as described in the following. As the safety recommendations from the wood pellet industry are inadequate, we consider that further fatal accidents are likely to occur and recommend urgent revision of the safety regulations. © 2012 The Author.
Werner R.,Forensic Institute |
Schultz B.,Forensic Institute |
Frank M.,University of Greifswald
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2016
In firearm examiners’ and forensic specialists’ casework as well as in air gun proof testing, reliable measurement of the weapon’s muzzle velocity is indispensable. While there are standardized and generally accepted procedures for testing the performance of air guns, the method of seating the diabolo pellets deeper into the breech of break barrel spring-piston air guns has not found its way into standardized test procedures. The influence of pellet seating on the external ballistic parameters was investigated using ten different break barrel spring-piston air guns. Test shots were performed with the diabolo pellets seated 2 mm deeper into the breech using a pellet seater. The results were then compared to reference shots with conventionally loaded diabolo pellets. Projectile velocity was measured with a high-precision redundant ballistic speed measurement system. In eight out of ten weapons, the muzzle energy increased significantly when the pellet seater was used. The average increase in kinetic energy was 31 % (range 9–96 %). To conclude, seating the pellet even slightly deeper into the breech of spring-piston air guns might significantly alter the muzzle energy. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that this effect is taken into account when accurate and reliable measurements of air gun muzzle velocity are necessary. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
PubMed | University of Greifswald and Forensic Institute
Type: | Journal: International journal of legal medicine | Year: 2017
Amongst hundreds of different projectiles for air guns available on the market, hollow-point air gun pellets are of special interest. These pellets are characterized by a tip or a hollowed-out shape in their tip which, when fired, makes the projectiles expand to an increased diameter upon entering the target medium. This results in an increase in release of energy which, in turn, has the potential to cause more serious injuries than non-hollow-point projectiles. To the best of the authors knowledge, reliable data on the terminal ballistic features of hollow-point air gun projectiles compared to standard diabolo pellets have not yet been published in the forensic literature. The terminal ballistic performance (energy-dependent expansion and penetration) of four different types of .177 caliber hollow-point pellets discharged at kinetic energy levels from approximately 3J up to 30J into water, ordnance gelatin, and ordnance gelatin covered with natural chamois as a skin simulant was the subject of this investigation. Energy-dependent expansion of the tested hollow-point pellets was observed after being shot into all investigated target media. While some hollow-point pellets require a minimum kinetic energy of approximately 10J for sufficient expansion, there are also hollow-point pellets which expand at kinetic energy levels of less than 5J. The ratio of expansion (RE, calculated by the cross-sectional area (A) after impact divided by the cross-sectional area (A
PubMed | University of Greifswald and Forensic Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of legal medicine | Year: 2016
In firearm examiners and forensic specialists casework as well as in air gun proof testing, reliable measurement of the weapons muzzle velocity is indispensable. While there are standardized and generally accepted procedures for testing the performance of air guns, the method of seating the diabolo pellets deeper into the breech of break barrel spring-piston air guns has not found its way into standardized test procedures. The influence of pellet seating on the external ballistic parameters was investigated using ten different break barrel spring-piston air guns. Test shots were performed with the diabolo pellets seated 2mm deeper into the breech using a pellet seater. The results were then compared to reference shots with conventionally loaded diabolo pellets. Projectile velocity was measured with a high-precision redundant ballistic speed measurement system. In eight out of ten weapons, the muzzle energy increased significantly when the pellet seater was used. The average increase in kinetic energy was 31% (range 9-96%). To conclude, seating the pellet even slightly deeper into the breech of spring-piston air guns might significantly alter the muzzle energy. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that this effect is taken into account when accurate and reliable measurements of air gun muzzle velocity are necessary.
Mullen C.,Forensic Institute |
Spence D.,University of Glasgow |
Moxey L.,University of Glasgow |
Jamieson A.,Forensic Institute
Science and Justice | Year: 2014
Many forensic scientists use a verbal scale to describe the significance or weight to be attached to their opinion. Although there is a considerable amount of work in the field of psychology regarding people's perception of quantitative descriptors such as those used in the verbal scale, there has been no published work relating to the use of such descriptors in a forensic context. Our aim was to assess the extent to which the verbal expressions used by the expert in court are perceived and the extent to which they are differentiated by potential jurors. Four hundred volunteers were asked to indicate the level of strength they perceived from the use of the verbal scale characters within excerpts from purported expert witness statements. Although preliminary, these results show that there are serious misunderstandings of the verbal scale. It does not achieve the purpose for which it was created. The terms used are unlikely to be understood properly by lay people and it would appear that they are actually misunderstood. © 2013 Forensic Science Society.
Meakin G.,Forensic Institute |
Jamieson A.,Forensic Institute
Forensic Science International: Genetics | Year: 2013
DNA-bearing cellular material can come to be present on a surface by either direct or indirect transfer. Direct transfer includes contact, but also includes activities within the vicinity of an item that may result in the transfer of DNA directly from an individual without any contact, such as speaking, coughing, and sneezing. Indirect transfer of DNA is when DNA from an individual comes to be on an item via an intermediary surface. It is important to consider indirect transfer in the evaluation of trace DNA in casework. The term 'trace DNA' in this review refers solely to DNA that cannot be attributed to an identifiable body fluid. This review presents and considers data from trace DNA experiments to establish whether the quantity of DNA recovered from a crime stain and/or the quality of a DNA profile obtained can be used to infer the likely mechanism of transfer. The data show that varied results are obtained from apparently similar trace DNA samples, presumably due to the many factors that affect the detection of trace DNA. The nature and effect of these varying factors and the application of the data to casework is considered generally and with specific reference to DNA transfer to skin, DNA beneath fingernails, 'wearer DNA', and various contamination considerations. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Vlase L.,University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca |
Popa D.-S.,University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca |
Zaharia D.,Forensic Institute |
Loghin F.,University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca
Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2010
A new high-throughput liquid chromatography / tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the quantification of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in suspect plant material and of its principal metabolite, 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH), in human urine was developed and validated. The separation was performed on a Zorbax SB-C18 column under isocratic conditions using a mixture of 2 mM ammonium formate in water and methanol (17:83, v/v) for THC or acetonitrile (45:55, v/v) for THC-COOH at 40°C with a flow rate of 1 mL/min. The detection was performed in MRM mode using an ion trap MS equipped with an APCI ion source using positive mode ionization for THC and negative mode ionization for THC-COOH. The plant samples (0.2 g) were extracted in methanol and diluted before the analysis. The urine samples were heated for 30 min at 80°C with 85% phosphoric acid and centrifugated before the analysis. The method showed a good linearity (r > 0.994), precision and accuracy (< 8.5%) over the concentration ranges of 2 -128 ng/mL for THC and 0.5 - 32 ng/mL for THC-COOH, respectively. The method is not expensive, requires a minimum time for sample preparation and has a run-time of 3.5 min for instrument analysis (retention times for THC and THC-COOH were 2.6 and 2.55 min, respectively). The developed and validated LC-MS/MS method is very simple and more rapid than other similar methods. It was successfully applied for the rapid quantification of THC in plant samples and of THC-COOH in human urine in forensic toxicology analyses. © 2010 Romanian Society of Legal Medicine.
PubMed | Forensic Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Medicine, science, and the law | Year: 2014
This study reviews the surgical pathology reports of post-partum hemorrhages to support clinicians in malpractice litigation and, potentially, to enhance pregnancy-related diagnoses.This work is a retrospective study of surgical pathology reports of term pregnancies between January 2000 and January 2012 selected from the Surgical Pathology database of the I.R.C.C.S Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino-IST (Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genoa).Ninety-five revision reports were identified (0.22% placenta accrete, 0.46% non-accreta placental tissue retention, and 0.31% no placental fragments retention). Secondary post-partum hemorrhages occurred in 0.3%, and primary PPH occurred in 0.05%, regardless of the group examined. Both types of PPH were most often associated with vaginal deliveries (58%). The most frequent endometrial finding was post-partum endometritis (43%). The entire placenta was submitted to the pathologist in 22/95 cases (23%). Hypermaturity and/or villous immaturity were the main histological patterns.This review supports the hypothesis that the pathological placenta abnormalities observed, rather than underlying myometrium abnormalities, may underlie the contractile failure and the incomplete removal of the placenta. For these reasons, the authors emphasized the importance of investigating the placenta in cases of complicated deliveries not associated with PPH to support clinicians in malpractice claims.