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Minerva Medicolegale 1999 March;119(1): 19-24

language: Italian

Diagnosis of fatal accident caused by electric shock. Practical problems regarding the activity of the forensic sector

Marinelli E., Zaami S.


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The authors offer a critical examination of the medicolegal problems linked to the causal diagnosis of death in cases of suspected injury by electric current. After having recalled the paucity of autoptic lesive symptoms, they describe the main forms of macroscopic and microscopic skin lesions observed in sectorial practice, with reference to the respective pathogenetic mechanisms. They then review the technologies used to examine possible skin metallization phenomena, noting the overall reliability of the most simple histochemical methods which are particularly suitable for routine activity owing to the simplicity of their use and interpretation and their reasonable cost. Lastly, the authors illustrate the various lesions relating to the respective levels of diagnostic significance.

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