Kind of Weapon and Age of Injury


  • In the fifth column the kind of weapon by which the injury was inflicted should be mentioned. In the remarks column the age of injury should be noted.

Age of Injury

  • The age of a bruise may be ascertained from the colour changes which its ecchymosis undergoes. These changes start from eighteen to twenty- four hours after its infliction. On histological examination at necropsy the polymorphonuclear leucocytes in a haematoma begin to disintegrate after 3 to 5 hours, mostly they are fragmented within 21 hours and by 30 hours the basophilic nuclear fragments have either undergone autolysis or have been engulfed by the phagocytic monocytes.
  • The age of a wound may be ascertained by observing stages of its healing process.
  • A wound, which is not thoroughly aseptic and is, gaping owing to loss of tissue, heals by the formation of granulation tissue.
  • The vascular endothelium shows distinct proliferative changes, and vascular buds are given off from the minute vessels at the periphery during twenty-four hours.
  • A complete network of new capillary vessels is formed in thirty-six to forty hours.
  • Spindle-shaped cells, which run at right angles to the vessels in the deeper parts of the wound, are visible in forty-eight to fifty-six hours.
  • Definite fibrils are seen running parallel to the long fibroblasts in three to six days.
  • The cellular structure and vessels are obliterated gradually, and are replaced by a dense fibrous scar tissue in three to four weeks.
  • Pus may appear in a septic wound in about thirty-six to forty-eight hours.
  • In bone fracture the reparative process indicates its approximate time.
  • Signs of inflammation and exudation of blood in the soft parts and around the fractured ends - first to the third day.
  • Soft provisional callus- fourth to the fifteenth day.
  • Ossification of callus- fifteenth day to the fifth week. Complete absorption of callus- six to eight weeks.
  • Bone formation does not occur in comminuted fractures.
  • In the case of dislocation of a joint, the time can be judged from the colour changes of the bruise.
  • When a tooth has been hit and has dropped out, bleeding from its socket may continue for a few hours. The cavity of the socket usually fills up in seven to ten days, and the alveolar process becomes quite smooth after fourteen days.
Last modified: Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 12:02 PM