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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1997 Dec;18(4):321-4.

Shaken adult syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine, Dundee University, Scotland.


A 30-year-old Palestinian collapsed when under interrogation by the Israeli General Security Service and was declared brain dead 3 days later. Information on the circumstances and interrogation methods was denied on security grounds. Autopsy disclosed extensive anterior chest and shoulder bruising and acute subdural haemorrhage but no other trauma. On this evidence, violent shaking was postulated as the mechanism of injury. Later, this was admitted by Israeli investigators and corroborated by histopathologically proved diffuse axonal injury and retinal haemorrhages. This is the first reported case of fatal shaken adult syndrome.

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