Injuries to the Head and Face in Brazilian Adolescents and Teenagers Victims of Nonnatural Deaths
Keywords:Maxillofacial Injuries, Wounds and Injuries, Accidents, Traffic.
This study aimed to evaluate the occurrence of injuries to the head and face in adolescents and teenagers victims of nonnatural deaths. A retrospective study design was undertaken by the analysis of medical forensic reports derived from medical forensic exams performed at the Department of Forensic Medicine of the city of Campina Grande, PB, Brazil, between January 2003 and December 2007. From a universe of 607 reports issued is this time span, the study sample consisted of 423 reports (69.6%) referring to adolescents and teenagers of both genders, aged 12 to 18 years, who confirmedly died from external causes. The causes of death were encoded according to the Chapter XX of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10). All statistical analyses were performed using the Epi Info 2007 software. The existence of significant association among the variables was verified by means of bivariate analysis (Yates’ chi-square test) considering a value of a=.05 for rejection of the null hypothesis. The majority of victims were males (79.9%) at the age of 17 (25.8%). Firearms (33.3%) and transport accidents (32.2%) were the most common causes of death, with boys presenting 3.7 times greater chances than girls of getting killed by firearms (P=0.000; OR=3.7 [1.96-7.18]). There was statistically significant difference between the occurrence of transport accidents and gender (P=0.033; OR=0.57 [0.35-0.93]). The majority of victims (71.6%) presented multiple injuries throughout the body. There was statistically significant difference between the occurrence of transport accidents and the presence of multiple injuries (P=0.000; OR=46.7 [11.3-192.7]). As much as 51.1% of the victims presented injuries to the head and 49.9% presented injuries to the face. There was statistically significant difference between the occurrence of transport accidents and the presence of injury to the head (P=0.000), maxillofacial fracture (P=0.000) and intraoral injuries (P=0.000). Fatal gunshot wounds and transport accidents were the main causes of death of male adolescents and teenagers. The victims presented multiple injuries, especially to the head and face, and the mandible was the most frequently injured facial bone.