<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 26, Issue 2, June 2018



Rom J Leg Med26(2)120-128(2018)
DOI:10.4323/rjlm.2018.120
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine


Forensic investigation of 1347 autopsy-cases from the Institute of Legal Medicine in Frankfurt/Main around the Christmas time

L. M. Lindenberger, H. Ackermann, M. Parzeller


Abstract: Forensic autopsies are important to throw light into unexpected, unnatural violent deaths to identify the time, cause and manner of death. The study analyzed an autopsy database for changing autopsy numbers and performed detailed evaluation of organ-specific causes of death around Christmas.
This retrospective autopsy study is based on autopsy protocols provided by the Institute of Legal Medicine, University Clinic of Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, covering a period of 20 years (1995-2014). Data regarding mode and cause of death, age and gender were evaluated for three weeks around Christmas.
The highest number of autopsy cases was noted during the first week after Christmas and the lowest during the first week preceding Christmas. During the three weeks before this event, the number was slightly lower (n= 607) in comparison with the three weeks thereafter (n= 644). Cardiac death due to chronic ischemic cardiac disease, cardiac insufficiency and myocardial infarction prevailed among the natural death cases. Traffic accidents and suicides prevailed among non-natural death cases.
A postponement of death cases as suggested by several authors was noted in a forensic database for Christmas. A certain autopsy rate should be ensured to remain autopsy as an important instrument for accurate mortality statistics.
Keywords: Christmas, death cases, forensic autopsy, suicide, postponement of death.



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