Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology
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Blunt traumatic aortic dissection death by falling: an autopsy case report

Publication Date Sep 7, 2022

Abstract

A man in his early 60s who worked at a waste disposal plant had fallen into the refuse pit and was immediately taken to the emergency department for treatment. After 8days without recovering consciousness, the man died. Antemortem contrast-enhanced computed tomography at the emergency department indicated Stanford type B/DeBakey type IIIb aortic dissection. The autopsy showed a sharp and transverse intimal tear 0.6cm in length in the aortic isthmus and fractures in the 5th-6th thoracic vertebrae. No structural abnormalities in arterial walls were noted on histopathological examination. The traumatic aortic dissection induced by falling is rare, compared with vehicle crash. Although the verification process was challenging, the cause of death was ultimately concluded as traumatic aortic dissection due to falling into the refuse pit. The following observations were cited as evidence: (1) the location and feature of the intimal tear, (2) the positional relationship between the impact site and the entry tear, and (3) the circumstance of clash impact onto the "cushion" of accumulated waste in the refuse pit. Inquiries into the cause of death, such as those made in this report, are required to provide detailed information on the circumstances of the accident, postmortem examinations, and careful consideration.

Concepts

Refuse Pit Traumatic Aortic Dissection Type IIIb Aortic Dissection Traumatic Dissection Waste Disposal Plant Entry Tear Aortic Isthmus Cause Of Death Intimal Tear Stanford Type

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