GUNSHOT WOUND TO THE HEAD – COMMON ERRORS IN DIAGNOSING THE DIRECTION AND DISTANCE OF THE SHOT /A CASE REPORT/


Authors: Biliana Mileva, Metodi Goshev, Martin Angelov, Teodora Kiryakova, Atanas Christov, Alexandar Alexandrov
Keywords: firearms, gunshot wounds, forensic medicine, errors in diagnosing

Abstract:
Introduction: Firearm-related injuries are a leading cause of morbidity – as the use of firearms increases and they are relatively easy to obtain. The wounds, caused by them, have their specifics, determinate by the type of the weapon, the projectile and the effect of the additional factors of the shot. In the forensic practice, the correct interpretation of the wounds is extremely important for the reconstruction of the events that led to the accident – whether it is a case of homicide or suicide. Materials and methods: Forensic autopsy, performed according to the standard section technique. Case presentation: We present a case of a 70-year old man, who died in a hospital from a gunshot injury to the head. In the Department of Forensic Medicine and Deontology Sofia, after a careful examination of the body of the deceased and analysis of the medical records from the hospital where he was treated, some discrepancies were found. Discussion: Not all of the firearm-related injuries are fatal - in some cases the interval between the trauma and the death is prolonged and both the entrance and the exit wounds can be surgically treated, which can lead to difficulties in diagnosing the direction and the distance of the shot. Conclusion: The aim of this article is to emphasize the need for trauma specialists to be alerted for the possibility of misinterpretation of gunshot wounds and to realize the medicolegal implications.Download article