Unnatural Deaths in the Paediatric Age Group in a Tertiary Hospital at Bangalore: An Autopsy Study
Keywords:Unnatural deaths, Paediatric age group (0-18years), Suicide.
Background and Aim: During transition from childhood to adulthood, people are exposed to various
hazards having potentiality lead to unnatural deaths by distorting physical, mental and social wellbeing.
Studying pattern of unnatural deaths helps stakeholders to formulate policies for prevention of loss of
important human resource.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive study with purposive sampling was conducted at KIMS Hospital and
Research Centre, Bangalore from 2013 to 2015 wherein the data using pre-tested structured proforma was
collected from autopsies of unnatural deaths among pediatric age group (0-18 years). The details pertaining
to the Socio demographic characteristics, pattern of injuries and cause of death was ascertained from the
police reports, reliable attendants of the deceased, histopathological /hospital records and postmortem
reports.The data obtained from this study was analyzed statistically by presenting the data in the form of
appropriate tables and graphs, computing the descriptive statistics like mean, median, standard deviation
Results: Out of 832 cases, 703 (84.5%) were unnatural deaths, amongst which 8.8% cases were of paediatrics
of age group. In that (82.2%) 51 cases belonged to 12-18 years, followed by 5-12 years and preschool age
(3-5years) each with 4 cases (6.5%), 3 cases (4.8%) are of toddlers (1-3) years and no cases were reported
among infants. Male preponderance was seen 35 cases (56%). Maximum number of deaths occurred during
evening times i.e., 30 cases (48.39%).In the present study, maximum number of victims were from social
class II i.e., 38 cases and least among social class I with only 1 case. Out of 62 cases , 37 cases (60%) were
intentional deaths (1 case (3%) is homicidal and 36 cases (97%) were suicidal )and 25 cases (40%)were
unintentional deaths. In the present study out of 36 suicidal cases, Hanging was the most preferred method
used to commit suicide with 26 cases (42%), followed by burns and drowning with 1 (8%) case each. Out 62
cases, only 12 (19%) cases were treated before death and remaining 50 (81%) were not treated prior to death.
Conclusion: This study indicates that there is an immense responsibility for the parents and caregivers in
supervising their children .The public health burden of all unnatural deaths needs to be estimated to provide
a rational basis for policy decisions to implement necessary interventions.
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