Courtesy of Godoy Medical Forensics
Traumatic Injury Categories
Traumatic injuries can be caused by either blunt force trauma or sharp force trauma. Sharp force trauma is a broad category that covers a large group of objects that could cause these injuries. Objects such as a knife, a razor blade, a broken bottle, or even the metal lid of a can of dog food can cause sharp force injuries. Injuries that are categorized as sharp force injuries produce a wound that typically has a defined separation of the skin and the tissue.
Injuries from sharp force trauma—whether it is a knife wound or other sharp object—have specific characteristics that vary based on the motion associated with the wound. Typically, the sharp force wound from a slashing motion is longer than it is deep and does not leave any “bridging” tissue in the wound. Conversely, a wound from a stabbing motion is deeper than it is long. A sharp force object will divide and cut the skin and tissues as it penetrates. There are misconceptions in the medical arena that the terms cut and laceration are the same: this is incorrect.