Lacerations – also known as Tears or Ruptures
It is a tear or split of skin, mucous membranes, muscle, or internal organs produced by the application of blunt force to the broad area of the body, which crushed or stretched tissues beyond the limits of their elasticity.
Types of Laceration
Lacerations are of five types
1. Split laceration – Splitting occurs by crushing of the skin between two hard objects.
Eg: Scalp Laceration
2. Stretch lacerations – caused by overstretching of the skin if it is fixed. There is a localized pressure with a pull which increases until tearing occurs and produces a flap of skin that is peeled of underlying bone or deep fascia.
3. Avulsion – It is produced by a shearing force delivered at an acute angle to detach a portion of a traumatized surface from its attachments
Usually seen in road traffic accidents, when the wheel of a heavyweight vehicle passes over a limb, produce separation of skin from underlying tissues over a relatively larger area (Flaying)
4. Tears – It is another form of overstretching produced by the impact by or against irregular or semi-sharp objects
Eg: Blows by a broken glass, fall over a rough projected objects, etc
5. Cut lacerations – produced by a heavy relatively sharp-edged instrument such as axe, hatchet, chopper
Incised looking lacerated wounds: These are seen where the skin is very close to the bone and subcutaneous tissue is scanty. Such wounds looks like incised wounds in naked eyes since the crushing of the skin and soft tissue is minimal. These are usually split lacerations
- Shape – No specific shape
- Size – Not corresponding to a weapon
- Margin – Irregular, rugged, uneven
- Floor – split or torn with a bruise
- Hemorrhage – less due to crushed arteries)
- Hair bulbs – crushed
- Associated with abrasion and bruise
- Healing – usually delayed and leaves a permanent scar
- The type of laceration may indicate the cause of the injury and the shape of the blunt weapon.
- Foreign bodies found in the wound may indicate the circumstances in which the crime has been committed.
- The age of the injury can be determined
It shows bruising eversion, gaping, blood staining of margins, greater bleeding etc
Punching, kicking, stamping injuries may produce the combination of abrasion, contusion and laceration
- Severe bleeding
- Pulmonary or systemic fat embolism
- Irritation, pain, and dysfunction (over joints)