Secondary data analysis of postmortem examination records at a teaching hospital in Northern India
Kunal Khanna1, Vijay Pal1, Anil Kumar Malik2, Tarun Dagar3, Varun Garg4, Madhur Verma5
1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Kalpana Chawla Govt. Medical College, Karnal, Haryana, India
2 Department of Forensic Medicine, Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India
3 Department of Forensic Medicine, Dr. Radhakrishnan Govt. Medical College, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, India
4 Department of Forensic Medicine, Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Rohini, Delhi, India
5 Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda, Punjab, India
Anil Kumar Malik
Department of Forensic Medicine, Maharishi Markandeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Solan . 173 229, Himachal Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
INTRODUCTION: Mortality data help in identifying the leading cause of death in populations and provide evidence to prioritize of disease prevention efforts. This study aims to describe the age and gender distribution and analyze the causes of fatalities certified after postmortem examinations to facilitate improved and more reliable certification of the cause of death.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This secondary data analysis is of data recorded from January 01, 2016, to December 31, 2017, in the postmortem registers of the forensic medicine and toxicology department of a medical college in Haryana. Probable time of death, time of conducting the postmortem examination, and the probable cause of death as per the police records are also entered in the register. The data were analyzed for age and gender distribution and cause of death. Diagnoses provided by postmortem examination were categorized.
RESULTS: One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one postmortem examinations were conducted during the study period. About 52% of deceased persons belonged to the age group 21–40 years, 82.96% were male and 60% were from a rural area. Majority of deaths occurred at public places (57%). Deaths at home were more common among females (44%), while majority of deaths at public places occurred among males (59%). Unintentional deaths (74.50%) were more common. Deaths due to accidents were about 42.22%.
CONCLUSION: Conventionally, the emphasis of postmortem examination has been viewed as serving the inquest. However, they now have an important role within public health such as surveillance and causes of death. There is a strong obligation to generate reliable information for formulating effective intervention policies.