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Indian Journal of Forensic and Community Medicine

Medicolegal aspect of Thermal burns - A prospective study

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Author Details: Pradeep Kumar Mishra, Jitendra Tomar, Divyesh Saxena, Pankaj Verma, Abhishek Varun

Volume : 4

Issue : 3

Online ISSN : 2394-6776

Print ISSN : 2394-6768

Article First Page : 146

Article End Page : 150


Fire was perhaps man’s first double-edged sword, for throughout history, it has served as well destroyed mankind. Burns have tremendous medicolegal importance as they may be considered to be the one of the commonest cause of unnatural death in India. Often, the circumstances of burns are enveloped in mystery, obscurity and unreliable statements. The reason behind this action may be personal, domestic, occupational or social tragedy, and more recently dowry death. This was a prospective study carried out at Sri Aurobindo Medical College and Post Graduate Institute, Indore during March 2014 to June 2015 involving all cases admitted in burn ward and post mortem examination done in Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. A total number of 120 cases of burn injuries were taken; of which 88 patients died and a detailed post mortem examination was conducted. Out of total 88 autopsies, 21 (23.86%) cases were magistrate inquest and rest 67 (76.13%) were police inquest. Manner of burn was accidental in nature in majority i.e. in 113 (94.17%) cases, followed by suicidal in 7 (5.83%) cases. Out of total 7 suicidal cases, dying declaration was recorded in 5 cases. Of all autopsied cases carbon soot particles were found in only 5 cases (5.69%). Present study is an effort in highlighting the medicolegal importance of thermal burns. The government should come forward with strict laws and monitoring should be done for strict implementation of the Anti-dowry Act would go a long way in bringing down the incidence of these ‘accidents’.

Burn, Autopsy, Inquest, Carbon soot particles, Dying Declaration, Accidental, Homicidal Burn