Indian Journal of Forensic and Community Medicine

Autopsy based profile of drowning cases at a tertiary care centre near a hilly river

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Article Type : Research Article

Author Details: Niraj Kumar,Vivek Mangare*,Naman Kandpal,Aishwarya Bajpei

Volume : 6

Issue : 1

Online ISSN : 2394-6776

Print ISSN : 2394-6768

Article First Page : 28

Article End Page : 32


Introduction: Globally drowning is considered to be the third leading cause of unintentional injury death and is a major, but often neglected, public health problem. Little research has been published on the issue of drowning in hilly rivers. River valleys are related with a different kind of drowning hazards due to different kind of risk factors as compared with plane water rivers. This study was conducted in tertiary care centre of Srinagar, through which Alaknanda river passes through.
Objective: To study the pattern of different factors related to drowning death which may be helpful in better understanding of burden of problem in hilly region & implementing preventive measures.
Materials and Methods: The retrospective study was conducted in the department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology of tertiary care centre, Government Medical college and Base hospital Srikot, Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, during three year duration of 1st January 2012 to 31st December 2014 on 42 autopsy cases. Relevant variables and detailed history were collected from police inquest reports, Postmortem Reports and other documents.
Results: Drowning death was highest in age groups of 31-35 years (16.66%) & 21-25 years (14.28%) and age group between 16-55 years contributed 90.44% cases. Men outnumbered women. Most death occurred between summer months of March to June (40.46%), followed by winter months. Rainy season shows less incidences. Most drowning incidences recorded in evening and night followed by early morning time. Maximum number of drowning deaths had occurred from residents of Srinagar town, Pauri, Chamoli, Tehri and Rudraprayag constitutes 35.7% cases. 11.93% cases were from outside the Uttarakhand state. Manner of death was unknown for a large number of cases (35.7%), 45.2% were accidental and 16.4% suicidal. Maximum cases were from lower middle class family.
Conclusion: Rate of death is high as compared to national rate. Death due to drowning are most common in summers, during Char Dham yatra season. Most common victims of drowning deaths were residents of Srinagar and nearby regions. Most of death were accidental in nature retrieved from Alaknanda river. The study results suggest that there is need for drowning prevention strategies that are tailored to specific need of this geographical region.

Keywords: Drowning, Hilly region, Srinagar.

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