Fatal Cardiac Gunshot Wound

Oct 15, 2022

During a post mortem examination of a person found deceased due to presumed firearm related injuries, the cause of death was determined to be a fatal gunshot wound to the heart. Once the pericardium was opened and excess blood removed from the pericardial sac, the heart was manually elevated and photographed before being removed for further examination. Using photomacrography and a cross-polarization technique, the damaged cardiac tissue was photographed in such a way as to minimize reflections and maximize contrast and colour saturation to provide clear definition of the defect margins and affected tissues, and determine if there were any visible projectile fragments still present.

The image was created in support of a medico-legal autopsy by providing a reviewable visual reference as to the the cause of death. This image is kept as a part of the decedent's post mortem report and may be reviewed by additional medical professionals, members of the justice system, next of kin, and may also be used for medical training and academic research and publication.

A Canon 5D MKIII DSLR camera with a 50mm lens a circular polarizer was used along with a Canon MR14-EXII a linear polarizing gel.