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FPA5006 - Interpreting injuries at autopsy

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr Matthew Lynch


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


Injury interpretation is a fundamental component of forensic pathology practice. This unit gives students a different orientation to that of treating doctors, and the observational and analytical skills required to come to conclusions about the cause of an injury or injuries. The ability to document wounds accurately and interpret them objectively are integral to the primary purpose of an autopsy - to accurately determine the cause of death and assist in the reconstruction of the circumstances surrounding an individual's death. Wound interpretation assists in the development of opinions on issues of timing, mechanism and circumstances of causation.


Upon completion of the unit the student will be expected to:

  1. Display an understanding of the pathophysiology of injuries.
  2. Show familiarity with the factors limiting accurate injury interpretation.
  3. Interpret the forces producing injuries.
  4. Apply the principles of forensic photography.
  5. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the classification of injuries.
  6. Be able to accurately document injuries.
  7. Analyse and interpret mechanisms and circumstances by which the injuries were sustained.


Case studies (40%), Assignment 1500 words (40%), Oral presentation (20%).

Contact hours

40 contact hours (tutorials), 50 hours of case and practical work and approximately 66 hours for individual study, assignments and case book preparation


Injury Interpretation FOR1002