How Do Forensic Nurses Analyze Gunshot Wounds?

Courtesy of Godoy Medical Forensics

 

Doctor Accuracy

Medical Doctors get entrance/exit wrong about 50 percent of the time, per research. Don’t go off of medical charts. Most doctors still go off of size of the wound, which is inaccurate.

Range of Fire

The range of fire can generally be determined by wound characteristics. Soot indicates that the gun was fired within 0 to 6 inches. Tattooing indicates a range of less than 48 inches.

Black Powder

Black powder burns do not occur from modern day guns.

Size of the Exit Wound

Size of the exit wound is determined by:

  • The transfer of energy (could be bigger from passing through bone);
  • The bullet’s form after any damage or separation; and
  • Swelling of the underlying tissue.

Penetrating versus Perforating

Penetrating means that the bullet entered but did not exit the body. Perforating means that the bullet entered and exited.

 

 

Don’t miss the Godoy Medical Forensics newsletter! Topics covered are:

Assault / Trauma
DUI / General Medical
Child & Elder Abuse / Neglect
Mental Health / Toxicology
Sign up here.