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Original Articles

Pattern and distribution of defence injuries: a multi-center study on clinical and autopsy findings

Authors:

M. G. N. Lakmali ,

LK
About M. G. N.
Postgraduate trainee
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J. Warushahennedi,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About J.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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A. S. Senavirathna,

Base Hospital Hambanthota, LK
About A. S.
Consultant JMO
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D. D. Samaraweera,

General Hospital Matara, LK
About D. D.
Consultant JMO
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T. Dadallage,

Base Hospital Hambanthota, LK
About T.
MO Medicolegal
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P. V. De Silva

University of Ruhuna, LK
About P. V.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction: Defence injuries are the results of immediate and instinctive reaction of the victims in order to protect themselves during an assault. Presence of such injuries indicates that the victim was conscious and could comprehend the attack and provide resistance. They also help in identifying the weapon. The objectives of our study were to differentiate the patterns and the distributions of defence injuries.

 

Methodology: This study was carried out on selected patients admitted to the hospital following assaults and deaths following injuries who had defence injuries during the period of March 2015 to January 2016 at Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya, General Hospital, Matara and Base Hospital Hambanthota which are the major hospitals in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka.

 

Results: We analyzed 213 cases with defence injuries. Out of them 75% were males. The commonest age group who had defence injuries were between 31-40 years. Blunt force defence injuries were present in 154 cases and sharp force was present in 74 cases. The commonest type of defence injury was contusion followed by abrasion. The commonest anatomical area involved was the forearm followed by the hand. Both left and right upper limbs involved equally in defensing although the majority (94%) was right dominant. More than one injury was present in 45% of cases and 18% had underlying injuries. In 17.8% cases alcohol had been consumed prior to the incident. Head and face was the most frequently protected body part (57%) followed by the chest (14%). Ninety eight percent of victims did not have pre-existing disabilities and 81% of them the assailant was known.

 

Conclusions: Back of forearm is the commonly used site for defence and there is no clear correlation with the handedness and defence wounds.
How to Cite: Lakmali, M.G.N. et al., (2016). Pattern and distribution of defence injuries: a multi-center study on clinical and autopsy findings. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka. 4(1), pp.1–10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v4i1.7330
Published on 28 Dec 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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