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Related to lungs: lung cancer
infanticideForensic medicine The active or semi-passive killing of a viable conceptus > 20 gestational wks, which breathes spontaneously. See Battered child syndrome, Child abuse. Cf Stillbirth.
Infanticide, diagnosis of
• Comparison of gastric fluid composition with that of a toilet bowel-active drowning
• Peural surfaces with petechiae Seen in induced suffocation, most significant when coupled with hematomas and petechiae on the mouth and epiglottis; the lingual frenulum may be torn and the lips bruised, indicating active attempts to suffocate infant.
• Lungs Stillbirth lungs are not aerated and do not float
• Edematous foam on nostrils An indicator of active breathing
• Meconium Resuscitation of a true stillborn may push meconium into the perianal region, but extensive staining of the placenta and umbilical cord is due to antenatal stress
• Denial of pregnancy If the woman is obese or a dullard, she may not know she was pregnant
• Rigor mortis A finding that is poorly appreciated in neonates
• Impression of the body in soil, blood, or fomites, requiring diligent and timely scene investigation
• Maceration of skin A finding typical of stillbirth
• Putrefaction Stillborns do not putrefy as they have sterile bowels
• Umbilical cord A cut cord indicates active intervention-time undetermined; an intact cord is consistent with stillbirth
• Determination of age Viability, most fetuses born before 18 wks of gestation die despite resuscitative efforts, age is determined by skeletal dating, antenatal studies corroborating fetal death, eg Spaulding sign of in utero death characterized by overlapping cranial bones
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
lungsThe paired, air-filled, elastic, spongy organs occupying each side of the chest and separated by the heart and the central partition of the chest known as the mediastinum. Each lung is surrounded by a double-layered membrane called the PLEURA. The function of the lungs is continuously to replenish the oxygen content of the blood and to afford an exit path from the blood for carbon dioxide and other unwanted gases. The right lung has three lobes and the left two. An air tube (BRONCHUS) and a large artery and vein enter each lung on its inner aspect and these branch repeatedly as they pass peripherally. The smallest air passages end in grape-like clusters of air sacs, the alveoli, the walls of which are very thin and contain the terminal branches of the blood vessels. In this way the air comes into intimate contact with the blood so that interchange of gases can readily occur.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005