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Late Occurrence of Raccoon Eyes: The Role of the Ligature

Milenko Bogdanović, Vesna Popović, Slobodan Savić, Tijana Durmić, Bojana Radnić
American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 2019 March 5
This case represents a planned complex suicide in which the victim combined gunshot to the head and hanging. The most interesting finding in the presented case was pale face, but without any visible injury to it at the time the body was found (more than 24 hours after death), whereas at autopsy (20 hours later), black eyes were prominent. The removal of the ligature led to the decompression of the neck and its blood vessels with consequential blood redistribution, which, alongside the liquid state of blood, resulted in the aforementioned finding. Considering the described postponed appearance of periorbital ecchymosis, this kind of finding suggests that great caution is necessary when interpreting hematomas in terms of their vitality.


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