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Unexpected complications following an occupational injury

Authors:

D.M.C.W. Kumara ,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About D.M.C.W.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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I.D.G. Kitulwatte

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About I.D.G.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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Abstract

Experts in forensic medicine are often requested to give an opinion on bodily damage resulting at work. General hazards in a work environment include electricity, fire, inflammable gases, high pressure gases and liquids, powerful or sharp moving machinery and fall. When an occupational trauma is complicated with an unexpected sequelae the forensic pathologist is in a dilemma. We report a workman who was brought following blunt head and chest trauma complicated with a facial palsy and lobar pneumonia.

 

Case study

A 53 year old security officer was brought to the hospital following improperly fixed gate falling on to him while at work. He was recruited by the security company two months back and was appointed to this place without informing the condition of the gate. History revealed that he was unconscious for a few minutes and remained to have dizziness and vertigo. Next day he developed profound left lower motor neurone facial nerve palsy. He had fractures of the right petrous temporal bone, and a left scapula. Two weeks later he developed shortness of breath and fever, which was diagnosed as left sided lobar pneumonia.

 

Conclusion

Fracture of the bones and the facial nerve damage could be easily categorized as grievous injuries. Chest trauma may result in localized pulmonary contusion which can be complicated as an infection presenting late. The appreciation of the association between the infection and initial injury

needs thorough scientific basis since the category of hurt is crucial in formation of medico legal opinion.

How to Cite: Kumara, D.M.C.W. and Kitulwatte, I.D.G., 2017. Unexpected complications following an occupational injury. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 8(2), pp.13–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v8i2.7796
Published on 30 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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