Scalp.—Injuries of the scalp are either accidental or homicidal. Rarely,
cases are reported in which suicidal injuries have been produced on the
scalp by means of a heavy weapon. A man,1 aged 28 years, who had been
arrested for a particularly cold-blooded murder, took out a nail from the
wall of his cell and committed suicide by driving it into his skull. A 50-
year-old woman, who was suffering from insomnia and climacteric disturb-
ances, committed suicide by striking blows on the crown of her head with
In India, most scalp injuries are homicidal, and are generally produced
by a blunt weapon, e.g. a lathi, a stone or a wooden pestle (musal) and
occasionally by a cutting instrument, such as a gandasa^ a khurpi, an axe
Fig. 113. — Murder : Wound made with axe seen sticking into the head.
(From a pimtogTcupih lent kmdly by the Superintendent of Police, Ahmedabad.)
or a sword. Bbe injuries are consequently contusions and lacerated
wounds, as .^H as iinased sad ptinctared wounds. The swelling and
inflammation are not usually very nmch as the scalp is a dense tissue. It
must be remembered that an oblique blow generally causes a large wound
and a direct blow, a small wound. These wounds may be simple or com-
plicated with fractures of the skull. While examining them it is always
advisable to find out if there is any fracture.
In the case of a contusion effusion of blood is sometimes so great that
it forms a hsematoma (cephal-haematoma) , which may readily be mistatep
for a depressed fracture owing to the sensation of crepitus which it impairs
1. Brit. Med. Jour., Aug. 13, 1932, p. 321.
2. Munek, Willy, Dent Zeit. f. Ges. Gerichit. Med., Bd. 2T, HB. 5>
Med.-L&g. and Criminal. Bet?., VoL V, Part n, April 1937, D. 233.