Iatrogenic artefacts attributable to traditional cupping therapy in a shotgun fatality

Cavlak M., Ozkok A., Sari S., Dursun A., AKAR T., Karapirli M., ...More

JOURNAL OF FORENSIC AND LEGAL MEDICINE, vol.35, pp.26-28, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Cupping is a traditional treatment method that has been used for thousands of years to diminish pain, restore appetite and improve digestion, remove tendency to faint or remove 'bad blood' from the body. The suction of the cup is created by fire or mechanical devices. This procedure may result in circular erythema, petechiae, purpura, ecchymosis, burns and may be mistaken for trauma-related ecchymosis or livor mortis. Forty-year-old male was died by shotgun injuries in the same day of the wounding. Circular ecchymoses were observed on the forehead, within the scalp of occipital region, the back of the neck, and on the back. They were defined as ecchymoses in the first examination made by a general practitioner. In the external examination during the legal autopsy superficial incisions were observed on the circular ecchymoses. The shape, localization and color of and the characteristics of incisions on the circular lesions were concluded to be caused by the dry cupping therapy and wet cupping therapy procedures. These lesions and their formation mechanisms should be well-known by the forensic medical examiners and the other medical personnel involved in the forensic medical examination. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.