Sharp Force Injury Deaths

  • Joseph A. PrahlowEmail author
  • Roger W. Byard
Reference work entry

Damage to tissues or organs by objects or weapons with sharp edges or pointed ends constitutes sharp force injury. These types of injuries have been classified in various ways; however, there are generally three categories of stab, incised, and chop wounds. It is a common mistake, even amongst those with medical training, to refer to these injuries as “lacerations,” whereas a laceration is an entirely different type of injury caused by crushing of tissues by the application of a blunt force (see chapter  Blunt Force Injury Deaths), and a sharp force wound is a cut. A way to conceptualize the difference is to take an orange and slice it in two with a sharp knife, producing a classic clean incised wound. Smashing a second orange with a brick produces the typical lacerations of a blunt force injury with abraded, torn, and irregular edges. Other features such as tissue bridges within the depths of the wound, and often the circumstances of the injury, will also assist in differentiating...


Personality Disorder Stab Wound Borderline Personality Disorder Incised Wound Lawn Mower 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.South Bend Medical Foundation and Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend at the University of Notre DameSouth BendUSA
  2. 2.Medical School NorthThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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