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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-42

Spectrum of homicidal injuries in a tertiary hospital in North-central Nigeria


Department of Anatomical Pathology, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Raymond Akpobome Vhriterhire
Department of Anatomical Pathology, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/atp.atp_28_19

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Background and Objectives: There has been an upsurge in fatal crimes and violent conflicts in Nigeria, with the victims dying from a variety of injuries. This study analyzed the pattern of injuries found during postmortem examination of the bodies of victims of homicidal deaths. Materials and Methods: A retrospective audit was done on the cases of alleged homicidal deaths on which autopsies were performed over a period of 5 years in the pathology services unit of a tertiary hospital in the North-central region of Nigeria. Results: There were 236 alleged homicidal death cases and the ages ranged from 1.5 to 6 years. There were more male victims (87.7%) than females (12.3%), ratio of 7.1:1. Gunshot injuries and chop wounds accounted for 39.8% (n = 94) and 19.1% (45), respectively. The other injuries found in this study included lacerations, skull fractures, contusions, cerebral lacerations, stab wounds, burns, and incised wounds. Blunt force injuries (laceration, contusion, and abrasion) and sharp force injuries (incised, stab, and chop wounds) made up 18.6% (n = 44) and 21.2% (n = 50) of the total number of cases, respectively. Some of the victims had a combination of injuries. Most of the decedents were persons within the third decade and 67.4% of them were <40 years old. Conclusion: This retrospective review of homicidal injuries showed that most victims died from gunshot and sharp force injuries. Gunshot wounds were found to be more common on the chest and abdomen, whereas chop wound was more to the head, followed by the neck.


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