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This individual fell from a height and suffered fatal destruction of the head with a loss of a large part of the brain.

It can be quite difficult to determine whether an injury is fatal or to predict the outcome in a prehospital setting. In addition to the aforementioned definitive signs of death, there are several body states that are incompatible with life. Catastrophic injuries include decapitation (beheading), which is separation of the head from the trunk; massive destruction of the skull and brain, with loss of brain matter; detruncation (hemicorporectomy or truncal transection), which is complete separation of the trunk below the shoulders and above the hips, through major organs and vessels; and incineration (charring of all observable body surface). These are conditions in which resuscitative efforts should be withheld.

Fig.1 Destruction of the head with loss of a large part of the brain after a fall from a height.

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