CHAPTER XH REGIONAL INJURIES HEAD 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 a hatchet.- 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.