Forensic Pathology of Child Death: Autopsy Results & Diagnoses

Forensic Pathology of Child Death: Autopsy Results & Diagnoses is a comprehensive clinical and photographic reference on fatal child abuse and neglect, with detailed case studies illustrating the many types of abusive deaths that can occur.

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Forensic Pathology of Child Death
Autopsy Results & Diagnoses

With approximately 220 case studies and 750 photographs, Forensic Pathology of Child Death: Autopsy Results & Diagnoses is an exhaustive reference for professionals and students in the fields of forensic pathology, pediatrics, law enforcement, social work, family court, and child advocacy. This publication will serve as a a comprehensive and convenient photographic resource, illustrating the injuries sustained and causes of death common among victims of child abuse. Each case study includes historical and circumstantial information, family history, and autopsy findings that medical and legal professionals might encounter in the field.

The author, award-winning forensic pathologist Dr. Mary Case, has practiced in the Saint Louis metropolitan area since 1975. For over 20 years, Dr. Case has served as Chief Medical Examiner to Saint Louis County and the neighboring counties of Saint Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin. Over the course of her career, Dr. Case has been an invited lecturer at over 400 professional conferences, seminars, and symposia, sharing her expertise with colleagues the world over. Now, with this new atlas, Dr. Case lends the full benefit of her experience to current and future practitioners in their efforts to investigate and prevent unnatural child death.

Representing a wealth of knowledge refined over the course of 4 decades in the field and in research, Forensic Pathology of Child Death is the definitive reference on forensic examination in cases of child fatality. This truly invaluable work will benefit forensic pathologists, their professional collaborators, and the communities they serve for years to come. It is a must-have for anyone in need of a more sophisticated understanding of unnatural child death and the circumstances under which it occurs.

Features & Benefits:

  • Written by a renowned expert
  • Over 750 high-quality images
  • More than 200 detailed case histories
Product Details

Perfect Bound 8.5 x 11 inches
466 pages, 221 case studies, 783 images


Professionals and students in the fields of forensic pathology, pediatrics, law enforcement, social work, family court, and child advocacy.

Publication Date

January 2021


978-1-936590-42-1 (Print)

978-1-936590-81-0 (eBook)

Table of Contents

1. Role of the Medical Examiner in Fatal Cases of Child Maltreatment
2. Forensic Autopsy
3. Fatal Child Maltreatment
4. Head Trauma
5. Injuries of the Spine and Spinal Cord
6. Chest Trauma
7. Abdominal Trauma
8. Blunt Soft Tissue Trauma
9. Burns
10. Subtle Lethal Abusive Injury
11. Organ and Tissue Procurement

Mary E. Case, MD

Mary Case is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in pathology at the Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center and is board certified in anatomical pathology, neuropathology, and forensic pathology. In addition to being a professor of pathology and codirector of the Division of Forensic Pathology at St. Louis University Health Sciences Center, Dr. Case serves as chief medical examiner for the cities of St. Louis and St. Charles, and Jefferson and Franklin Counties. Her primary practice is forensic pathology, and her areas of special interest are childrens’ injuries and head trauma.

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Elizabeth M. Kermgard, MD

Elizabeth Kermgard graduated from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 2017. During medical school, she was the recipient of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine Summer Research Fellowship for her work in forensic pathology of child death.

Dr. Kermgard then went on to complete her pediatric residency in 2020 at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and currently is a pediatric nephrology fellow at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

View author publications

For the forensic pathologist, the investigations of sudden, unexpected death in children are some of the most demanding. These deaths are even more challenging when they involve neuropathological injury. This book, whose lead author is both a forensic pathologist and neuropathologist, is organized by body region (eg, neck, chest, head, abdomen), which offers a practical approach for the forensic pathologist. Detailed discussions of injuries and mechanisms of injury are intermixed with referenced studies that put our understanding of these injuries in proper context and elevate this work beyond the typical descriptive forensic pathology text. It is an academic, well-referenced work that also includes over 700 color images and numerous case studies. Not only will forensic pathologists and fellows find this valuable but given the well-written, concise discussions and descriptions, the nonmedical pediatric death investigator will also find it understandable and useful.

James R. Gill, MD
Chief Medical Examiner
State of Connecticut
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Forensic Pathology of Child Death is a comprehensive guide to the evaluation of the pediatric death in the context of forensic pathology. It covers just about every kind of injury, whether traumatic or accidental, one is likely to see in a medicolegal setting. Fatal, inflicted child abuse is fairly rare but is something every forensic pathologist is going to encounter in their career. A book like this will be especially helpful to those practitioners who don’t work in a large metropolitan area or in association with a children’s hospital, where many of these cases originate, and help in deciding whether they should refer the case to someone with more experience. This is especially true in those cases with subtle injuries. The case histories are a guide to the proper documentation of findings, which is as important as the diagnosis. The author’s recognition as an expert in pediatric trauma ensures it will be a much-used reference.

Carl J. Schmidt, MD, MPH
Clinical Professor
Department of Pathology
University of Michigan
Medical Examiner
Wayne County
Detroit, Michigan

Forensic Pathology of Child Death is the definitive reference for evaluating childhood deaths. It will be useful for forensic pathologists, pediatricians, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors. The book has been written by Dr. Mary Case, an internationally recognized expert on forensic pathology
and child abuse. This text is liberally augmented with actual case studies and photographs. The book exhaustively covers all aspects of child death with an intensive emphasis on abusive head trauma. This book should be available to all professionals faced with making important decisions in the face of family tragedies.

Carole Jenny, MD, MBA
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Washington School of

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