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CAUSES   OF  DEATH   FROM  WOUNDS                                        229

Spindle-shaped cells which run at right angles to the vessels in the
deeper parts of the wound are visible in forty-eight hours.

Definite fibrils are seen running parallel with the long fTbro&Iasts in
three to five days.

The cellular structure and vessels are obliterated gradually, and are
replaced by a dense fibrous scar tissue in three to four weeks.

Pus may appear in about thirty-six to forty-eight hours in a wound
which has become septic. Such a wound may not heal for days or even
weeks, if sloughing of the surrounding tissues has occurred from sup-

3.    In the fracture of a bone the reparative process will enable one to
fix its approximate time.   The signs of inflammation and oxudation of blood
in the soft parts and round about the fractured ends are noticed from the
first to the third day.   Inflammation slowly subsides, and granulation tissue,
known as the soft provisional callus, is formed from the third to the four-
teenth day.   This callus binds together the fractured ends of the bone.   The
formation of the amount of callus depends on the mobility or immobility of
the fractured ends.   It is less if the ends are immobile and impacted.   It
begins to ossify from the fourteenth day to the fifth week, and six to eight
weeks is the average period taken by the callus to "be absorbed completely,
so that the fractured ends may be entirely united with the formation of

The repair of fractures of the skull is usually attended with a very
slight amount of callus, probably owing to the absolute rest of the fragments.
The edges of a fissured fracture are usually glued together within a week,
or are gradually smoothed within three to four weeks, and are united by
the formation of bone within two to three months or more. Bony formation
does not occur in comminuted fractures, the line of fracture remaining
permanently visible. Gaps left in the skull due to much loss of bone from
injury, or operation are filled in with fibrous tissues. Infection interferes
with the process of repair, and causes necrosis of the bone.

4.    In the dislocation of a joint the time can be judged from the colour
changes of a bruise which usually accompanies it, when caused by violence.

5.    When a tooth has been knocked out, bleeding from its socket stops
in about twenty-four hours, but sometimes on probing it the blood may come
out even after two or three days.   The cavity of the socket usually fills up
in seven to ten days, and the alveolar process becomes quite smooth after
fourteen days.


Before discussing the causes of death it is necessary to point out that
an assailant is not responsible for the death of Ms victim occurring on
receiving an injury, if it can be proved from post-mortem examination, that
it was due to natural causes, such as apoplexy, heart disease, phthisis or
any other pathological condition or poisoning, and that the infliction of the
injury did not operate in any way, immediately or remotely, to cause the
death which might have occurred at the time even if the injury had not
been inflicted. To substantiate a charge of murder or culpable homicide it
is, therefore, necessary to determine that the injury inflicted on the decease^
was actually the cause of death, and that it was such as was likely, or
cient in the ordinary course of nature, to cause death (vide sections
300, I.P.C., Appendix IV). In such a case it is the duty of a
officer to hold a thorough post-mortem examination and to
various organs and blood vessels for the presence of any mjod
It should be noted that a person can be convicted of eiilj^bfe                if