An Atlas of Skeletal Trauma in Medico-Legal Contexts - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128037591

An Atlas of Skeletal Trauma in Medico-Legal Contexts

1st Edition

Authors: Soren Blau David Ranson Chris O'Donnell
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128037591
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st November 2017
Page Count: 714
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An Atlas of Skeletal Trauma in Medico-legal Contexts provides the reader with de-identified cases from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine where the cause of death and mechanism of trauma are recorded to compile a comprehensive descriptive and visual representation of adult and child skeletal trauma. The book presents a range of adult and child skeletal trauma cases that occur in medico-legal contexts and includes high quality and comprehensive photographs and computed tomography (CT) images as well as descriptive text. The increasing use of routine post-mortem CT scans in forensic pathology practice in many jurisdictions has expanded the capacity to evaluate skeletal trauma making this book a worthy entry on the topic.

Key Features

  • Presents a valuable guide to the interpretation of skeletal trauma for practitioners and students of forensic anthropology, pathology and radiology
  • Provides coverage of skeletal trauma cases resulting from high and low velocity projectiles, low energy blunt force (e.g., assaults involving various implements, hangings, strangulations, falls), high energy blunt force (e.g., motor vehicle and aviation incidents), and more
  • Includes case studies with written and visual descriptions, discussions and up-to-date literature review


Forensic anthropologists and forensic pathologists in current medico-legal practice. Secondarily for schools of medicine, forensic and biological anthropology

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: High Velocity Projectile Trauma
Chapter 2: Low Energy Blunt Force Trauma
Chapter 3: Low Energy Blunt Force Trauma – Fatal Falls (Samantha Rowbotham)
Chapter 4: High Energy Blunt Force Trauma: Motor Vehicle Incidents
Chapter 5: High Energy Blunt Force Trauma: Aviation Incidents
Chapter 6: Accidental and Non-accidental Injuries in Children
Chapter 7: Sharp Force Trauma
Chapter 9: Taphonomic Changes
Chapter 10: Skeletal Variation: Morphology, Anomalies, Tissue Calcification and Pathology


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2018
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Soren Blau

Dr. Blau is the Senior Forensic Anthropologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) where she has been since 2005. She undertakes domestic and international forensic anthropology casework, which regularly includes the analysis and interpretation of skeletal trauma and the provision of expert evidence in court. In 2013 Dr. Blau was awarded The Sir William Kilpatrick Churchill Fellowship to study technical aspects of analysis and interpretation of skeletal trauma in medico-legal investigations. She regularly delivers lectures on aspects of forensic anthropology domestically to relevant domestic stakeholders (forensic pathology registrars, police members, University students and NGO humanitarian agencies).

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Forensic Anthropologist, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University

David Ranson

David Ranson is the Deputy Director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Monash University. He is a specialist in forensic pathology and clinical forensic medicine with a strong professional interest in Medical Law. Dr. Ranson is regularly consulted by legal practitioners both in Australia and overseas regarding the provision of medico-legal advice in the fields of forensic pathology, clinical forensic medicine and coronial law. In the last 10 years he has been particularly involved in the establishment and working of a number of specialist death investigation and research units aimed at preventing avoidable death and injury. These units include the National Coroners’ Information System, the Clinical Liaison Service (adverse medical event investigation unit) the Workplace Death Investigation Unit and the Consultative Committee into Road Traffic Fatalities.

Affiliations and Expertise

Deputy Director, Head of Forensic Services, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Medical Director, Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University

Chris O'Donnell

Dr. Chris O’Donnell is a clinical Radiologist who in 2005 was instrumental in the installation of a CT scanner into the mortuary of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. Since that time post-mortem CT (PMCT) has become an integral part of medico-legal death investigation in this state. His expertise is in the integration of imaging into forensic practice including identification of deceased persons culminated in an important role in the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 in which 173 persons perished. This was the first time in history that PMCT has been used in such a mass scale for disaster victim identification. Based on that experience his input has been pivotal in the formation of standards for the use of radiology in mass disaster. Dr O’Donnell is actively involved in research involving post-mortem CT scanning, is convenor of a successful annual short course on PMCT interpretation at Monash University and has supervised many visiting international radiology and pathology fellows. His experience in post-mortem CT is such that he is frequently asked to provide expert evidence for the Victorian State Coroner and the state’s criminal justice system. He is a Foundation member of the International Society of Forensic Radiology and Imaging, and is currently President-elect of that society culminating in being convenor of the Annual Scientific Congress in Melbourne 2018. He has also instigated the creation of an Australian and New Zealand working group on forensic imaging involving radiologists, pathologists, radiographers and mortuary technicians.

Affiliations and Expertise

Consultant Forensic Radiologist, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University