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Study on the pattern of unnatural deaths of women brought for medico-legal autopsy

Authors:

I.D.G Kitulwatte ,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About I.D.G
Department of Forensic Medicine
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P.A.S. Edirisinghe,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About P.A.S.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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H.K.N.L. Pratheepa Mendis,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About H.K.N.L.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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Pavithra. R. Wijesinghe,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About Pavithra. R.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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Anton Fernando,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About Anton
Department of Forensic Medicine
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A.A. Rishani M. Abeyrathne

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About A.A.
Department of Forensic Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction

An unnatural death is an intentional or unintentional death due to external causes. This can often be violent, mutilating or destructive. When the unnatural death involves a female, it shatters the lives of the survivors or the family. Traumatic injuries among females remain under-reported globally and studies on this area are scarce. We planned a retrospective descriptive study to find the epidemiologic patterns of trauma- related mortality among females for the first time.

 

Objectives

The aim of the study was to analyze the traumatic deaths among females to determine the circumstances, causes and epidemiology of these deaths and also to find the factors influencing them.

 

Methodology

A retrospective descriptive study was conducted on the post mortem records of the female victims of trauma during last 3 years (2013-2015) reported to a tertiary care hospital of Sri Lanka. The historical details, scene findings, findings of autopsy: external and internal examinations, the results of the post-mortem investigations and the opinion and conclusions given were obtained to fill the pro-forma.

 

Results

Out of the 139 deaths reported for medico- legal examination during the period, the majority 71(51%) were less than 40 years of age. The commonest manner of death was accidents 56 (40%), especially road accidents, followed by suicides amounting to 45 (32%). Poisoning was the commonest method of suicide 14 (31%) followed by hanging 12 (26%). Sharp injuries accounted for the majority of murders 13 (39%). Family disputes and love affairs were the main reason for 21 (47%) suicides and 13 (39%) murders.

 

Conclusions

Comprehensive research into occurrence of unnatural fatalities assists authorities in the prevention of such deaths. The study highlights the importance of timely interventions on road safety and the need for effective and timely counseling services on family matters to prevent most intentional deaths of women.

How to Cite: Kitulwatte, I.D.G. et al. , (2017). Study on the pattern of unnatural deaths of women brought for medico-legal autopsy . Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law . 8 ( 1 ) , pp . 13–22 . DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v8i1.7789
Published on 30 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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