Cause of Death?
By Cynthia Kirkeby
May 27, 2004, 18:17

Cause of Death

I have 5 questions for you around how people die as a result of fatal injuries during a fight situation. I have an assignment to do for school to explain how people die in the following situations, that is ... What's going on in the body to cause death?

A person is hit hard to the temple
Your skull is composed of six major bones, three of which are joined at the temple. This makes the temple extremely vulnerable. A forceful blow can cave in this junction of the skull causing death. The temporal artery supplying blood to the brain is also located in this area, so a blow to the temple also has the possibility of rupturing this artery causing sudden blindness and/or death.  

If someone is hit forcefully and directly to the heart e.g. from a punch or kick or heavy object
Blows to the chest can cause sudden death in children. “The general public is largely unaware of the fact that striking the chest, even lightly, can sometimes result in death,” said Barry J. Maron, M.D. of the American Heart Association. A blow to the chest can cause the heart to become irregular and stop beating. Prompt CPR can restart the heart in many of these cases.

What is the difference between asphyxiation and suffocation and how does this cause death.
Asphyxiation and suffocation are often used interchangeably. Asphyxiation is a loss of consciousness due to the presence of too little oxygen or too much carbon dioxide in the blood. Breathing may stop because of drowning, electric shock, heart failure, poisoning, or suffocation (cutting off the person’s ability to breathe by suppression). If respiration is not restarted quickly, death will result.

If hit very forcibly through the nose
A septal hemotoma (leaking of blood into the nasal region due to a fracture of the nasal area) can cause death. Certain types of fractures can also cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak that can also cause death.

How does a person die of shock?
According to Discovery Heath “Shock occurs when blood flow throughout the body is decreased and the body tissues don't get enough oxygen. This lack of oxygen causes injury to many body systems. There may be brain, kidney, or heart damage; loss of a limb; and intestinal problems.” Death isn’t caused by shock per se, but rather by the injury that caused the shock to occur. It’s more of a symptom than a cause.

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