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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


PACHECO FIGUEROA, Carolina. Fatal bleeding from a chronic venous ulcer: case report. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2021, vol.38, n.1, pp.24-28. ISSN 2215-5287.

Chronic venous disease is a common disorder that shows a large spectrum of signs. In cases in which the disease acquires severity it is named chronic venous insufficiency, and it can cause the development of a venous ulcer.

Direct trauma to or erosion of a varicose vein can lead to a hemorrhage that, in combination with coexistent conditions, toxicologic or social factors, or inadequate first aid can produce death in few minutes and a crime scene which might be confusing at first sight to the forensics team.

We present a case handled by the Forensic Pathology Section of the Department of Legal Medicine of the Judicial Power of Costa Rica in which a complete autopsy was performed. Among the most relevant macroscopic findings was evidence of a chronic ulcer with venous characteristics on the right leg, in which dissection by planes and dye injection into the great saphenous vein showed leakage of this dye out of a varicose vein related to the ulcer.

Keywords : Chronic venous disease; chronic venous insufficiency; varicose ulcer; chronic venous ulcer complications; venous hemorrhage; sudden death.

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