Cranio-Cerebral Injuries in Victims of Fatal Road Traffic Accident: A 5 year Post-Mortem Study

H S Gouda, PR Meghana, B B Prabha

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Abstract

Background:Victims of vehicular accident sustain different types of injuries, of which, head injury is considered as more fatal than injury to other systems. This study was carried out to know the incidence and pattern of cranio-cerebral injuries in victims of fatal vehicular accidents.

Methods: Medico-legal autopsies conducted on victims of vehicular accidents from 01-01-2008 to 31-12-2012 at the Dept. of Forensic Medicine, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India, were retrospectively analysed.

Results:Deaths due to vehicular accidents constituted 69% of the total unnatural deaths. Cranio-cerebral injuries were present in 68.5% of victims of vehicular accident. Combination of skull fracture, intra-cranial haemorrhages and cerebral injury was seen in maximum number of victims (38.2%). If injuries are considered individually, most commonly observed injury was intracranial haemorrhage (90.7%), followed by skull fracture (78.9%). Subarachnoid haemorrhage was the commonest type of intracranial haemorrhage present (78.3%). In the skull vault, linear fracture was the commonest type (49%) and in the base, middle cranial fossa (68.3%) was the most commonly fractured fossa. Among the cerebral injuries, contusion of the brain tissue was the commonest injury seen. Frontal and temporal lobes were the most commonly injured parts of the cerebrum (65.8%).

Conclusion:Most of the cranio-cerebral injuries cannot be treated successfully because of their anatomical configuration. But, morbidity and mortality due to vehicular accidents can be reduced by preventing the occurrence of accidents. Therefore, the old saying, “Prevention is better than cure” holds good even here.

Keywords

Road Traffic Accident, Skull Fracture, Intracranial Haemorrhage, Cerebral Injury.

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