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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-15

Coroner autopsies originating from complaints to the police in a Nigerian Urban centre


1 Pathology Unit, Police Clinic, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Pathology, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C C Nwafor
Department of Pathology, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1687-4625.155659

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Introduction Coroner autopsies are post-mortem examinations performed at the instance of the law. The aim of this study is to determine the pattern and causes of death in coroner autopsies performed by a police pathologist. Materials and methods Autopsy registers and reports of the pathology section of police clinic Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, from 2008 to 2012 were reviewed with respect to their demographic features, cause and manner of death. Results A total of 982 coroner autopsies were performed during the period, involving 773 males and 209 females, yielding a sex ratio of 3.7 : 1. The age group 20-29 years was the most commonly involved, accounting for 28.5% of cases. Accidental deaths were the commonest type of deaths (41.3%), followed by deaths because of homicides (40.8%); natural death was a distant third cause, accounting for 14.6%, whereas suicides and undetermined deaths accounted for 1.2 and 2.1%, respectively. Road traffic accidents were responsible for most accidental deaths (85.7%). Homicidal deaths were mainly by gunshots (66.5% of cases). Cardiovascular system diseases were the leading cause of natural death, with myocardial infarction and complications of hypertension each accounting for 44.4%. Conclusion Efforts to reduce road traffic accidents and control the number of guns in the hands of civilians should be intensified. The incidence of myocardial infarction is on the rise and health education is advocated to help reduce its adverse effects.


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