Spectrum of Injuries Following Fatal Falls into Wells: Forensic Approach and Review of Literature

Falls into wells are a traumatic event that represents a major public health problem worldwide. These falls are often fatal in contrast to some falls from heights, given the depth of the well that has to be deep enough to reach the water aquifer. Despite the severity of the consequent injuries, falls into wells have not been documented enough in the medical literature. The purpose of this work was to study the characteristics of falls into wells referring to the literature to serve as a basis for proposing appropriate preventive measures to prevent such falls. The majority of the collected cases comprised suicide cases that died as a result of drowning or severe polytrauma. The pattern that emerged was similar to falls from heights with a predominance of head and skull fractures. Fractures of ribs and spine vertebrae were common, unlike long bone fractures. Several factors were involved in the pattern of damages such as body weight, speed, nature of the impacted surface, the orientation of the body at the time of impact, and the body part that hit the ground first.


S. Ben Abderrahim, Wael Majdoub, Amal Ben Daly, Anissa Ajina, Sofiène Abdelkafi, Bilel Faydi and Souhail Mlayeh

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