Pattern of Drowning Cases at a Tertiary Care Hospital, Khammam


  • Pondurthi Srinivas Rao
  • Bharath Kumar Guntheti



Pattern ofDrowning, River, Canals, Wells, Diatoms, Fresh water


The diagnosis of death by drowning is one of the hardest challenges in forensic pathology. Circumstantial
factors and physical evidence such as autopsy findings are both important in drowning.There were 68 cases
of drowning deaths during one-year study period from Jan 2019 to Dec 2019, at dept of Forensic Medicine
MMC&MGH, Khammam, consisting of 60 male and 8 female victims.The largest number of victims,
26[38.23%] were found in the age group 31 to 40 years. Males [n=60, 88.23%] were predominantly affected.
37[54.41%] cases were married, in which 32 were males (47.05%) and femaleswere 5(7.35%) and 31 cases
are unmarried out of which 28[41.17%] are male and 3 females. Most of the victims were follows Hindu
belief, habitat of rural. Approximately 30[44.11%]of victims come from the student unemployed group.
Incidence of fresh water drowning is more than sea water drowning. The wet drowning accounted more
than dry drowning. Highest number [n=32, 47.05%] occurred inafternoonthan other timings. The incidence
of drowning was more in summer. Major fatalities occurred within one to three days of hospitalization.
Accidental falls 56 [ 82.35%] were the commonly occurring incidents that leads to drowning death and most
of drowning deaths 58[ 70.58%] occurred in the lakes. Majority of victims died at the place of drowning.
Most of the victims witnessed respiratory complications [55.2%]. 10.00% of the deceased were the tested
positive for alcohol, while 4[6.66%] were confirmed as drug abusers. Non swimmers were victims more
than swimmers. Decomposition changes on the body were found in 10 % cases. Externally, frothy or bloodstained
discharge at mouth and nostrils and “washer-women” appearance on the hands and feet were the
common postmortem findings; while internally, congestion, edema of the lungs and presence of foreign
bodies in an airway, were the common findings. Out of 68 cases 62[91.17%] cases were showing positive
results for same diatoms in bone marrow and sample water, in 45.88% cases, only sample water showed
positive results, 22.94% cases were showing no diatoms in bone marrow and sample water. The aim of the
study is to analyzed different main objective of the study is epidemiological factors andpattern of drowning,
contributing factors, and arriving diagnosis of ante mortem drowning by diatom test.

Author Biographies

  • Pondurthi Srinivas Rao

    Asst Professor, Government Medical College, Siddipet; Telangana

  • Bharath Kumar Guntheti

    Professor,Dept. of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, Mamata Medical College, Khammam; Telangana




How to Cite

Pattern of Drowning Cases at a Tertiary Care Hospital, Khammam. (2021). Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, 15(4), 928-935.