Tags:
  1. stingrae

    stingrae Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    8

    Autopsy report

    Discussion in 'Research' started by stingrae, May 11, 2017.

    For an autopsy report, what is the proper format, specifically when reporting broken/missing bones?

    Also, what vocabulary would be used for fingers? Would I say "appendages" or "phalanges" or be specific in what section of the digit?
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,880
    Likes Received:
    13,289
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    That's an easy Google one... you'll find tons of blank autopsy forms and real autopsy reports.
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  3. stingrae

    stingrae Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    8
    Obvious answer is obvious :meh:

    I think I was deterred to do that with anything that can pop up on Google, especially images. I do NOT need to see bodies before bed.
     
  4. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,880
    Likes Received:
    13,289
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    stingrae likes this.
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,846
    Likes Received:
    20,775
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Can also depend on whence the autopsy report originates. I do tons of translations for autopsy reports that originate from the Forensic Sciences Institute of Puerto Rico. They do not use a template form. They instead create a report that is actually simple block-text, but the report itself is exhaustively detailed.

    Always in the following order:
    • External Exam - This is general and gives details of identification of the body: apparent age, ethnicity, gender, height and weight, eye color, hair color, hair texture, clothing (if any), etc.
    • External Evidence of Trauma - This will be highly, highly detailed. Some parts of the body will be made reference in common terms (eye, shoulder, arm), other parts will be indicated in precise medical terms (your missing finger would be indicated in very precise medical terms, indicating exactly which bones are missing, the joint at which the trauma appears, the kind of trauma (tear, laceration, contusion, burn) etc.) Points of trauma are given coordinates in their given area that include the size or length of the area of trauma, and are nearly always measured from the distance of the midline of the body to the area of trauma, and another measurement from another known point on the body in that area, up or down to the point of trauma. Each point of trauma is usually given its own numbered paragraph in this section unless it is part of a grouping.
    Example from actual report:

    Contusion with laceration and a thick abraded area in a rectangular pattern located in the posterior region of the head at the level of the right parietal. The contusion is located 3” below the top of the head and 1 ½” to the right of the posterior medial line. There is a contusion that measures 2 ½” and also an irregular laceration of 1 ¾” associated with an abrasion that measures 2” X 1”.​
    • Internal Evidence of Trauma - Same as above. Expect very, very technical terms. Another example from same report as above:
    1. There is a depressed fracture with separation and displacement of the frontal bone of the left frontal region with affectation of the parietal in a round, interrupted pattern that measures 3” x 2 ½” and the lower region of the fracture is irregular, depressed, and affects the anterior right and left fossa and the crista galli.
    2. There is also a frontal subgaleal hemorrhage of 4" X 2 1/2" and parietal subgaleal hemorrhage of 4” X 2 ½”
    3. There is a fracture to the base of the cranium involving the anterior fossa, medial, right and left anterior fossa, crista galli and extends toward the right and left posterior fossa.
    4. Diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage.
    5. Cerebral Edema
    • Internal Exam - Organs are described and weighed. Expect metric measurements, even in America. Sometimes there will be further description of trauma in this part of the report.
    • Toxicological Analysis - This part nearly always says "See attached report".
    • Autopsy Findings - This part gives a repeat of the major areas of trauma that are the basis for the Cause of Death, which is also mentioned in this part of the report. In the case of the report I have referenced above:
    Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 1.18.41 PM.png

    The footnote indicated by the 1 next to the word "homicide" says: Term used without implying its legal meaning.
     
    Lifeline, Homer Potvin and stingrae like this.
  6. stingrae

    stingrae Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    8
    Findings, yes, that was what I had trouble with.

    Here's an excerpt from a chapter I have:

    Right tibia fractured, comminuted; ribs 3, 7, 9 fractured, comminuted; ribs 5, 6, 8 missing; multiple phalanges missing…

    I was wondering if this was how it should be written. I wasn't sure if the ribs were numbered as teeth are (like when you go to the dentist and you hear them rattle off numbers, like "Number 34 is sealed, etc.").
     
  7. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,846
    Likes Received:
    20,775
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    That fracture to the tibia would be more detailed. You mention that it's comminuted, so where does the fracture start and stop, length of area affected. That kind of break is not a simple, clean, transverse break. Same with the ribs. Yes, they are numbered, 1 -12, top to bottom, left and right, but you haven't mentioned the side of the missing ribs or the side of the fractured ribs. That detail would defo be in the report. The missing phalanges would be detailed as well, like: Apparent blunt force trauma to index finger of left hand, distal and middle phalanges of the index finger of left hand are missing, also portion of proximal phalange. (that's just an example)
     
    stingrae and Homer Potvin like this.
  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,880
    Likes Received:
    13,289
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    TMW when a story about a translator who sees something he shouldn't have seen on a sensitive autopsy report leaps into your head...
     
  9. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,846
    Likes Received:
    20,775
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Haha :-D That's where non-disclosure agreements come into play, and I have signed my fair share of those. ;) But the situation you mentioned would be more likely to happen when the translator is working on the Scene Findings Report (in common parlance, the Crime Scene Report). The concern the OP had over running across photo images of headless torsos is a feature of that report. :blech: And yes, I translate those too, all day long. :dead:
     
    stingrae and Homer Potvin like this.
  10. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,880
    Likes Received:
    13,289
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    How would you say that? Uno cuerpo sin cabeza? (forgive the spelling, I'm still having trouble with English)
     
  11. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,846
    Likes Received:
    20,775
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Almost. ;) Un cuerpo sin cabeza.

    Also, it's so much more gruesome when it's partial rather than total, as is often the case with GSW's to the head. :bigeek:
     
    Homer Potvin likes this.
  12. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,880
    Likes Received:
    13,289
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    That story writes itself. Switch it up into a SF/F context to avoid all the non-disclosure crap. Go the full Mievelle. Hell, he has translators getting into trouble all the time. The Scar and Embassy Town that I can think of... probably another one in there somewhere too.

    ETA: Apologies to the OP for drifting off-topic.
     
  13. stingrae

    stingrae Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    8
    The last thing I need is seeing certain body parts maimed or detached before I go to bed. That's the stuff of nightmares. And lost lunches. :crazy:
     
    Wreybies likes this.
  14. stingrae

    stingrae Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    8
    Eh, I've done worse. :agreed:
     
    Homer Potvin likes this.
  15. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,846
    Likes Received:
    20,775
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    I agree, have not doubt, but since few translators want to look at that stuff for the obvious reasons - let alone spend the time to do high resolution screen-grabs from the original documents to include in the translated versions - it's one way of securing my niche in a highly competitive field. ;)
     
  16. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,475
    Likes Received:
    26,337
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    If you didn't want to know about such things, then perhaps you should not
    ask for such things. Read one of the Scarpetta series. She is a forensics
    coroner, and gets some pretty grisly victims on her slab. :p

    Way to take the fun out of it for me. :p
     
    stingrae likes this.
  17. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    14,562
    Likes Received:
    9,223
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Jesus, I don't know what any of those medical terms mean but even I know that from the sound of it... that person did not have a pleasant death.
     
  18. RWK

    RWK Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    90
    That is your basic blunt force trauma to the head.

    A blow that drove part of the skull inwards, compressing the brain and causing blood vessels to rupture.
     
  19. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    14,562
    Likes Received:
    9,223
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    'Ow' would be the understatement of the century... o_O
     
  20. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,475
    Likes Received:
    26,337
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Its ok, at least we know to a certain extent that the skull is
    bulletproof to some small caliber bullets. Given the density
    of the bone, and the round shape helps to deflect them.
    However it is strongly advised against testing this one
    at home. :p
    There are plenty of cases involving people surviving
    a gunshot to the head with minor cranial damage.
    Pretty surprising just how hard the top frontal part
    of your skull is one tough cookie. :)
     
  21. RWK

    RWK Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    90
    It is the curve, not so much the density, that saves you from a bullet. Tank designers in WW2 discovered that the angle of a shot to the armor was more important than the thickness of the armor, which is why, for example, German tanks went from squared to angled armor. Mossad's favorite tool for assassination in the 70s and 80s was a .22 long rifle with a reduced powder charge (to cut noise) fired into the skull at very close range at a right andle.

    Bullets, like most things, follow the path of least resistance. I worked a case where a stray .22 clipped a guy on the downward side of its trajectory. It flattened against the skull, but the transfer of kinetic engery ruptured a blood vessel in the brain. The guy was walking around asking who hit him with a rock, and then keeled over dead. Took forever to figure out what caused the injury.

    But I grow pedantic, as is my nature.
     
  22. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,475
    Likes Received:
    26,337
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Yeah, that is true. I read an article last night about how
    bullets affect different parts of the body, and it was
    quite interesting. The stats for mortally killing some one
    with a min. 9mm shot to the head without penetration,
    was 80% they would die from the impact damage of the
    brain through the kinetic transfer energy.

    Actually was an interesting read, which is quite useful for
    someone like me writing a war story. So far my ballistics
    have been fairly consistent based upon whether it was
    gas-powered or energy fired projectile. Though it is in
    the future so you can get a bullet with a bit more velocity
    for your buck. :p
     
  23. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,846
    Likes Received:
    20,775
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    On a related note: Often - as part of the packages of documents mentioned above that I am tasked to translate - there are drawings that are referred to as croquis in Spanish. It means sketch, though they are often significantly more detailed and precise than the word sketch would imply. Regardless, they are used to map out where items of evidence are found at crime scenes and to show possible locations from where shots may have been fired. It's all very intriguing as regards the way the events of a crime are pieced together after the fact.
     
    Cave Troll likes this.
  24. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,475
    Likes Received:
    26,337
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    That is kinda why I skipped Crime Thriller, and jumped to War. I am bad at those
    fine details that are needed to make a good Crime scene. Little bit easier to point out
    a direction when the bullets are still coming.

    Though I use to enjoy those crime shows that tried to piece the puzzle together.
    Putting fiberglass rods at the wound sites to determine trajectory, and angle of
    the shooter. Just don't have much of knack for making it believable. so to speak.

    That is kinda cool and also a bit dark, that you get to learn all that stuff though.
    Must test your limits at times as far as dealing with such gruesome stuff in the
    real world. Them again as a species we are intrigued with the macabre elements
    of our own, and try to figure out how another could do such vicious things to another.
     
  25. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,846
    Likes Received:
    20,775
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Yep. I've done translations for some pretty gruesome documents, but the worst thing I have ever had to do was the transcription (and later translation) of a video made on a cellphone.

    Long story short:

    In Puerto Rico, the place where you go to buy illegal drugs is called "el punto" (the point). A mule for a drug punto was caught "skimming the till", so to speak. The owner of the punto recorded the beat-down that was given to the mule. One minute he was being beaten, the next minute he was kicked in the head so hard that you heard the snap and he was dead.

    What made it exceptionally horrible for me was that I had to watch it over and over and over again to get down all the dialogue from all the parties that could be heard in the recording. It has to be as exact as humanly possible.

    I put myself on a little week-long vacation after that project, but the image and the sound of that guy dying is burned into my memory forever.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice