Pattern of gunshot deaths in a Nigerian Tertiary Health Institution
The present study was aimed to determine the pattern of injuries, manner of death, and demographic parameters of gunshot deaths in a Nigerian teaching hospital. This was a prospective descriptive autopsy study of gunshot deaths seen in the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, over a period of twelve months from January to December 2006. All the coroner autopsies for the period involving gunshot deaths were reviewed with emphasis on the sex, age, occupation, circumstances surrounding the event, manner of death, likely motive in cases of homicidal or suicidal gunshot, type of gun used and site(s) of injury. Gunshot deaths formed eleven (1.6%) of the 697 coroner cases performed at UCH in 2006. Ten of the 11 cases were male, and the overall age range was 10-60 years. The manner of death in ten of such cases was homicide, and unascertained in one case. Rifled weapons were used in 64% of the cases and shotguns, illegally acquired, accounted for the remaining 36%. Most were victims of armed robbery attacks. The head, abdomen, chest and lower limbs were sites of injuries in descending order of frequency. Gunshot deaths were the commonest form of homicide in the period under review. Young males and victims of armed robbery attacks are most susceptible. It is important to note the absence of suicidal gunshot deaths in this study.
Keywords: Pattern of injuries; Gunshot deaths; Demographic parameters; Nigeria