<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 27, Issue 4, December 2019

Rom J Leg Med27(4)354-360(2019)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Fatal free falls from very great heights

E. Doberentz, J. Geile, B. Madea

Abstract: Falls from great heights are rather rare. Most cases are suicidal or accidental falls. The severity of the injury pattern and the mortality relates to the height of the fall. Two cases of fatal falls from heights from >20 m on non- deformable and deformable surfaces are presented. A 32-year-old man fell from a Ferris wheel in a work accident. Witnesses watched him falling 28 m headlong to the ground. He hit the metallic base of the platform with his head and immediately died from polytrauma with severe traumatic decerebration. In another case, a 19-year-old man died in a 22 m fall from a bridge onto grass. He died from polytrauma with severe cerebral trauma. He was under the influence of alcohol and illicit substances, and the fall was probably accidental. Physical calculations related to falls from heights are presented and the injury patterns of these high-energy traumas and aspects of the blunt force trauma are presented and compared with the literature.
Keywords: Fall, head trauma, height.

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