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Applicability of the abbreviated injury scale in forensic medical practice in Bulgaria

Wiliam Dokov, Dobrinka Radoinova


Introduction: The present study offers a detailed analysis of the principles of the American system for trauma classification AIS (Abbreviated Injury Scale) and  tests  the possibility of  its application  in  the field of forensic-medicine in Bulgaria, where currently traumas are classified according to the experts` subjective judgments.

Materials and Methods: For the purposes of the study, expert reports have been used by 20 Bulgarian forensic doctors, written between 2009 and 2013, describing at least one temporarily life-threatening trauma. The severity of the traumas was evaluated according to AIS by the authors.

Results: The comparison between the reports and the results of AIS indicates that the scale is applicable for forensic medical purposes and in determining life-threatening conditions. At the same time, differences have been discovered between the medico-biological qualifications of the Bulgarian experts regarding the same trauma; apparently as a result of the ambiguous wording of the Bulgarian Penal Code (unchanged since 1896).

Conclusion: These differences accentuate the need for accepting a unified method of evaluating trauma severity. Taking such a step would dramatically improve the quality of Bulgarian forensic-medical reports.


abbreviated injury scale; life threatening trauma; severity

Full Text


Thomas A. Gennarelli, Elaine Wodzin (Hrsg.): The Abbreviated Injury Scale 2005. Update 2008. American Association for Automotive Medicine (AAAM), Des Plaines, IL 2008.

Penal Code of the Republic of Bulgaria, State Gazette, issue 26 from 02.04.1968, in power since 01.05.1968.

Decree N.3 from 27.09.1979 plenum of Supreme Court (SC). Collection of decrees and interpretative decisions of SC of the Republic of Bulgaria on criminal trials, Sofia (1953-1990).

Günay Y, Yavuz MF, EÅŸiyok B. Comparison of Turkish Injury Scale (TIS) with the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). Forensic Sci Int., 2003;132(1):1-4.

Penal Code of the Principality of Bulgaria, State Gazette, issue 40 from 21.02.1896.

Lisaev, P. Sadebnomeditsinska ekspertiza na telesnite povredi. Sofia (2010), pp 102-108, 110-118.

Radanov, St. Telesnite povredi po nakazatelniya kodeks na republika Bulgaria, Sofia (2003), pp 105-113, 150-169.

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About The Authors

Wiliam Dokov
Medical University of Varna

Department of General and Clinical Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Deontology

Dobrinka Radoinova
Medical University of Varna

Department of General and Clinical Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Deontology

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