Author Archives: churchc

Water Science & Technology – Contents Pages

Table of Contents  |  Vol 71 no 10 2015

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Journal of Clinical Microbiology – Early edition articles – 13 May 2015


Genito-anal injury patterns and associated factors in rape survivors in an urban province of South Africa: a cross-sectional study

BMC Womens Health. 2015; 15: 29;   Published online 2015 Mar 27. doi:  10.1186/s12905-015-0187-0

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of genito-anal injuries in rape survivors varies significantly and the factors associated with the absence of injuries are not well understood. This plays a major role in the conviction of cases as the absence of injury is equated with a lack of assault. In such cases, health care providers face major challenges in presenting and defending their findings. The aim of this paper is to describe the absence of genito-anal injuries by site in a group of rape survivors and to identify factors associated with the absence of these injuries.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study rape cases reported to the police in one province in South Africa were randomly sampled using a two stage sampling procedure. Data were obtained on the survivor, the circumstances of the rape and the findings of the medicolegal examination. Descriptive statistics were conducted for the prevalence of genito-anal injuries by site and logistic regression models were built to identify factors associated with the absence of genito-anal injuries for all survivors and those reported to be virgins.

RESULTS: In the sample of 1472 women injuries ranged from 1% to 36%. No significant injuries were reported for 749 (51%) survivors. In the multivariable model there was a significantly lower odds of having no injuries in survivors who were virgins, those raped by multiple perpetrators and those examined by a doctor with additional qualifications. In the model for survivors who were virgins, those with disabilities had a greater odds of having no injuries while those between the ages of 8 and 17 years had a lower odds of having no injuries compared to survivors below four years of age.

CONCLUSIONS: This study found that being a virgin, multiple perpetration rape and the examiner’s qualifications were significantly associated with the absence of genito-anal injuries. Health providers should thus be aware that in all other respects there was no difference in survivors who had injuries and those who did not. It is important to reiterate the message that the presence of injuries does not necessarily prove that rape occurred nor does the absence disprove the fact.

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Acute and long-term impact of chemical weapons: Lessons from the Iran- Iraq war

Forensic Sci. Rev. 2015; 26(2): 97-114.

Chemical weapons have given the human experience of warfare a uniquely terrifying quality that has inspired a general repugnance and led to periodic attempts to ban their use. Nevertheless, since ancient times, toxic agents have been consistently employed to kill and terrorize target populations. The evolution of these weapons is examined here in ways that may allow military, law enforcement, and scientific professionals to gain a perspective on conditions that, in the past, have motivated their use–both criminally and as a matter of national policy during military campaigns. Special emphasis is placed on the genocidal use of chemical weapons by the regime of Saddam Hussein, both against Iranians and on Kurdish citizens of his own country, during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88. The historical development of chemical weapons use is summarized to show how progressively better insight into biochemistry and physiology was adapted to this form of warfare. Major attributes of the most frequently used chemical agents and a description of how they affected military campaigns are explained. Portions of this review describing chemical-casualty care devote particular focus to Iranian management of neurotoxic (nerve) agent casualties due to the unique nature of this experience. Both nerve and blistering “mustard” agents were used extensively against Iranian forces. However, Iran is the only nation in history to have sustained large-scale attacks with neurotoxic weapons. For this reason, an understanding of the successes and failures of countermeasures to nerve-agent use developed by the Iranian military are particularly valuable for future civil defense and military planning. A detailed consideration of these strategies is therefore considered. Finally, the outcomes of clinical research into severe chronic disease triggered by mustard-agent exposure are examined in the context of the potential of these outcomes to determine the etiology of illness among US and Allied veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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The Effect of Mustard Gas on Salivary Trace Metals (Zn, Mn, Cu, Mg, Mo, Sr, Cd, Ca, Pb, Rb)

PLOS One   May 12, 2015  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126162

We have determined and compared trace metals concentration in saliva taken from chemical warfare injures who were under the exposure of mustard gas and healthy subjects by means of inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) for the first time. The influence of preliminary operations on the accuracy of ICP-OES analysis, blood contamination, the number of restored teeth in the mouth, salivary flow rate, and daily variations in trace metals concentration in saliva were also considered. Unstimulated saliva was collected at 10:00–11:00 a.m. from 45 subjects in three equal groups. The first group was composed of 15 healthy subjects (group 1); the second group consisted of 15 subjects who, upon chemical warfare injuries, did not use Salbutamol spray, which they would have normally used on a regular basis (group 2); and the third group contained the same number of patients as the second group, but they had taken their regular medicine (Salbutamol spray; group 3). Our results showed that the concentration of Cu in saliva was significantly increased in the chemical warfare injures compared to healthy subjects, as follows: healthy subjects 15.3± 5.45(p.p.b.), patients (group 2) 45.77±13.65, and patients (Salbutamol spray; group 3) 29 ±8.51 (P <0.02). In contrast, zinc was significantly decreased in the patients, as follows: healthy subjects 37 ± 9.03(p.p.b.), patients (group 2) 12.2 ± 3.56, and patients (Salbutamol spray; group 3) 20.6 ±10.01 (P < 0.01). It is important to note that direct dilution of saliva samples with ultrapure nitric acid showed the optimum ICP-OES outputs.

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The TASERed finger: a new entity. Case report and review of literature

Chirurgie de la Main  Available online 6 May 2015

The TASER® is a self-defense weapon whose use has now become commonplace among law enforcement agencies. Electronic control weapons were first used in the USA in the 1990s and then adopted in Europe and France. We report a case of an 18-year-old male who presented a penetrating lesion of the middle phalanx of the left index finger. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first complex finger injury due to the TASER®. It highlights the potential major risks to finger vitality and function with use of this electrical weapon. [English]

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Determination of direct alcohol markers: a review

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry  May 2015

Alcohol is the most popular legal drug used in our society today, and its consumption by pregnant women remains an important public health problem. Gestational alcohol consumption can result in a continuum of adverse fetal outcomes known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Effective strategies are needed to prevent the increasing adoption of risky drinking behaviors. Because ethanol itself is only measurable for a few hours after ethanol intake in conventional matrices including blood, urine, and sweat, these matrices are only useful to detect recent ethanol exposure. Since approximately early 2000, the non-oxidative ethanol metabolites have received increasing attention because of their specificity and, in some cases, wide time window of detection in non-conventional matrices including hair and meconium. In the attempt to update analytical methods for the determination of non-oxidative markers of alcohol, the objective of this study is to review published studies that measure fatty-acid ethyl esters (FAEE), ethyl glucuronide (EtG), and phosphatidylethanol (PEth) in alternative biological matrices, focusing on the extraction and detection methods and full analytical conditions used.

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