Drowning in Pretoria, South Africa : a 10-year review

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dc.contributor.upauthor Du Toit-Prinsloo, Lorraine
dc.contributor.upauthor Du Toit-Prinsloo, Lorraine
dc.contributor.upauthor Saayman, Gert
dc.contributor.upauthor Morris, Neil Kenneth
dc.date.accessioned 2015-12-14T09:27:55Z
dc.date.issued 2016-01
dc.description.abstract Drowning is classified as the 3rd leading cause of accidental deaths worldwide and is deemed to be a preventable cause of death. Bodies retrieved from a water medium pose several challenges to the forensic pathologist with the diagnosis of drowning being primarily one of exclusion. The aim of this study was to do a retrospective descriptive case audit of bodies retrieved from water and immersion related deaths, which were investigated at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory (PMLL) over a 10 year period (January 2002 through December 2011). A total of 346 cases were identified for inclusion into this study. In 6% (20) of these cases, the death was not related to drowning; in 14% (48) no clear cause of death could be ascertained and in 278 cases (80%) the cause of death was considered to have been due to drowning. Infants (under 1 year, of age) constituted 41 (15%) of the cases; toddlers (aged 1e2 years) comprised 52 (19%) cases; children (aged 2e13 years) 49 (18%) cases; adolescents (aged 13e18 years) comprised 10 (3%) cases; adults (above 18, years) made up 126 (45%) of the cases. The majority of the drownings, occurred in swimming pools [125 cases (38%)]. In infants 23 (56%) of, drownings occurred in swimming pools followed by buckets [7 cases (17%)]. Sixty-nine per cent of toddler drownings (36 cases) occurred in swimming, pools. In the adult population, 40 (32%) of cases occurred in pools and 35 cases (28%) in rivers. Positive blood alcohol results were recorded in 48, (42%) out of 113 cases where the test was requested, 40 (35%) of these, cases higher than 0.05 g per 100 ml. This study suggests that many drowning deaths in Pretoria may be preventable by introducing greater public awareness of the risks and instituting relatively simple, protective measures. en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2017-01-31
dc.description.librarian hb2015 en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jflm en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Morris, NK, Du Toit-Prinsloo, L & Saayman, G 2016, 'Drowning in Pretoria, South Africa : a 10-year review', Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 37, pp. 66-70. en_ZA
dc.identifier.isbn 10.1016/j.jflm.2015.10.010
dc.identifier.issn 1752-928X (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1878-7487 (online)
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/51183
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Elsevier en_ZA
dc.rights © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved. Notice : this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 37, pp. 66-70, 2016. doi : 10.1016/j.jflm.2015.10.010. en_ZA
dc.subject Bodies retrieved from water en_ZA
dc.subject Childhood deaths en_ZA
dc.subject Drowning en_ZA
dc.subject Emhysema aquosum en_ZA
dc.subject Hemolytic staining of the aorta en_ZA
dc.subject Medico-legal investigation of death en_ZA
dc.title Drowning in Pretoria, South Africa : a 10-year review en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA


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