Three types of skin injuries are commonly seen: contusion (bruise), abrasion (scrape) and laceration (tear). Contusions have common characteristics (8-12). A contusion is manifest as skin discoloration from underlying extravasation of blood owing to blood vessel rupture as a result of trauma or disease (see Subheading 3.2. and Fig. 1). The surface is intact. Unlike "open" abrasions and lacerations, a contusion is "closed" and not liable to be infected. An abrasion occurs when the superficial skin layers are removed by friction, compression, or stretching (Fig. 2). A laceration is a tear of the tissue surface. A cutaneous laceration is distinguished from an incised wound caused by sharp force trauma by irregularity of the wound edge, strands of tissue bridging the
defect, and undermining (Fig. 3). The latter is caused by the lifting of the skin, which creates a pocket of soft tissue disruption.
Deformity and swelling are external signs of acute fracture (Figs. 4 and 5). A fracture can be confirmed by a postmortem radiograph (Fig. 5).
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