Microscopy and Trace Evidence

Microscopy of electrocution contact sites shows vacuolization of epidermis and dermis, subepidermal blistering, elongation of epidermal cells, nuclear streaming, and eosinophilia of dermal collagen (161,170,207,209,251,252). If burned, superimposed charring is evident. Calcium deposition can occur in skin injured by electricity (DC or AC in animals and humans [253-256]). Heterotopic bone formation in soft tissues has

Fig. 40. Blast effects. (A) Singed hair. (B) Cutaneous burns; exteriorized bowel.

been described as a consequence of major electrical injury (147). Metal contacts leave ultrastructural and histochemical evidence of metallic deposits (e.g., copper, iron) on a burned or intact area of skin (161,200,234,251,257,258). Elemental analysis can confirm metal deposition (228). The contact source or conductor may show evidence of biological material (i.e., DNA analysis [259]).

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