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Original Articles

Analysis of child victims of trauma or violence reported for medico- legal examination in three tertiary care hospitals in Sri Lanka

Authors:

IDG Kitulwatte ,

Faculty of Medicine, Ragama, LK
About IDG
Department of Forensic Medicine
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PAS Edirisinghe,

Faculty of Medicine, Ragama, LK
About PAS
Department of Forensic Medicine
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P Appuhamy

Institute of Legal Medicine and Toxicology, Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Injury is a leading cause of disability among children and young adults. Characteristics of child victims of trauma or violence presenting for medico legal examination may vary considerably by age, sex and developmental level of the child.

Objective: The primary objective of this study was to find out type, distribution and severity of trauma or violence among children presenting for medico legal examination. The second aim was to propose suggestions to prevent such trauma or violence to children.

Study Design: Retrospective descriptive study was done based on medico-legal examinations performed on all the children under 12 years by the authors. The information was gathered on a proforma to fulfill the objectives. The data was analyzed using SPSS statistical package.

Results: Out of 171 cases studied 54% of cases were alleged road traffic accidents,alleged non-accidental injuries 16% and alleged sexual abuse 12% . Sexual violence was commonly seen among female victims (75%). The age of the sexual abuse victims ranged from 1 year to 12 years. 60% of victims of alleged physical abuse were more than 10 years of age. 56% of accidental injuries and 80% of non-accidental injuries were non grievous. Head injuries amounted to 68% of accidental injuries while commonest non accidental injuries were also found on the head and neck (53%).

Conclusion: Although road accidents are the commonest trauma among children presenting for medico legal examination, there is a significant proportion of intentional trauma including sexual violence. Thus, the preventive strategies should aim on both accidental and non accidental trauma.

Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka 2013; 1(2) : 29-36

How to Cite: Kitulwatte, I., Edirisinghe, P. & Appuhamy, P., (2014). Analysis of child victims of trauma or violence reported for medico- legal examination in three tertiary care hospitals in Sri Lanka. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka. 1(2), pp.29–36. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v1i2.7291
Published on 12 Aug 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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