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J Forensic Sci. 2014 Nov;59(6):1487-92. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12532. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Standardized descriptive method for the anthropological evaluation of pediatric skull fractures.

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  • 1Forensic Anthropology Division, Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, 1885 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, TX, 77054.

Abstract

The literature pertaining to pediatric skull fracture is primarily clinically based and thus motivated by the need for effective assessment of both fracture characteristics (type, frequency, location, and mechanics) and context (severity of injury, associated soft tissue damage, and prognosis). From a strictly descriptive standpoint, these schemas employ overlapping levels of detail that confound the nonclinical description of fractures in the forensic context. For this reason, application of these schemas in the forensic anthropological interpretation of skull fractures is inappropriate. We argue that forensic anthropological interpretation of skull fractures requires a standard classification system that reflects fracture morphology alone, and we suggest a three-stepped classification system that conveys increasing detail with each additional step. A retrospective application of the method to a sample of 31 children aged 1 month to 2 years demonstrated its efficacy in the description of pediatric skull fractures.

© 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

KEYWORDS:

bone injury; cranial fractures; forensic anthropology; forensic science; pediatric trauma; skull fractures; trauma

PMID:
25041026
[PubMed - in process]
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