Electrocution-related mortality: a retrospective review of 118 deaths in Coimbatore, India, between January 2002 and December 2006

Medicine, Science, and the Law
Kusa Kumar Shaha, A Edwin Joe


Electrical injuries currently remain a worldwide problem. These injuries are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality, but are usually preventable with simple safety measures. A retrospective study was undertaken of deaths due to electrocution that occurred over a five-year period from January 2002 to December 2006. The bodies were autopsied at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. A total of 118 cases were identified and all were accidental: 107 males (91%) and 11 females (9%) (male:female ratio = 9.72). The majority of deaths occurred in the 21-30 year age group (n = 57, 48%). Most deaths (n = 98; 83%) were due to low-voltage circuits (< 1000 V); a minority were due to high voltages (n = 20, 17%). Domestic accidents were responsible in 73 cases (61.86%). Deaths were caused most frequently by touching an electric wire (n = 62; 52.54%). Most deaths occurred in the summer (n = 50; 42%) with the lowest number of deaths occurring in winter. There was no electrical contact mark present in eight cases (6.7%). One hundred and four cases (88%) were dead on arrival at hospital. The most common cause of death was cardiac arrest, followed by septicaemia an...Continue Reading


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