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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 179-183

Pattern of fatal unintentional injuries in an urban setting in a developing nation

1 Department of Morbid Anatomy and Histopathology, Delta State University, Abraka; Department of Histopathology, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Delta State, Nigeria
2 Department of Pathology, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Nigeria
3 Department of Morbid Anatomy and Histopathology, Delta State University, Abraka; Central Hospital, Sapele, Delta State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Obiora Jude Uchendu
Department of Morbid Anatomy/Histopathology, Delta State University, Abraka, Department of Histopathology, Delta State University, Oghara, Delta State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_23_19

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Background: Epidemiologic survey in most countries show a shift from infectious disease to noncommunicable diseases and injuries as major causes of death. Fatal nonintentional injuries constitute a significant but preventable cause of death in sub-Sahara Africa. Objective: The objective of this study is to describe the age, sex, and causes of fatal unintentional deaths from autopsies performed in Warri, Delta State. Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive retrospective study, based on coroner's autopsies performed in Warri, Delta State, from 2003 to 2016. Information on age, sex, and causes of fatal nonintentional injuries was extracted from autopsy reports and analyzed using SPSS version 21. Results: A total of 236 fatal unintentional death victims, composed 190 (80.5%) male and 46 (19.5%) female, with a mean age of 33.08 years and peak incidence in the fourth decade were studied. Major causes of accidental deaths in this investigation include road traffic accident (RTA) (48.7%), drowning (15.5%), burns (12.3%), electrocution (10.2%), falls (4.7%), and poisoning (3.4%). Fatal RTA victims consist of 87 (75.7%) male and 28 (24.3%) female, with motorcycle-related death accounted for 52 (45%) deaths, whereas pedestrian and vehicle users each accounted for 32 (27.8%) cases. Conclusion: Unintentional deaths are relatively common but highly preventable through education and enforcement of safety practices; and safety-targeted engineering and infrastructural designs.

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