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RETROSPECTIVE POST MORTEM STUDY OF CUSTODIAL DEATHS IN UYO, SOUTH-SOUTH, NIGERIA
The medicolegal auditing of the pattern of death among detainees in police and prison custody is a useful tool in planning for quality care to be given to detainees, who do not have access to stable health care as seen in the free world.
AIM: To retrospectively study the peculiarities of custodial deaths (CD), among individuals detained in police and prison custody in Uyo, South-Soth Nigeria and to suggest preventive measures.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a review of all the post mortem examinations (PME) that were performed on detainees that died in police or prison custody over 4 years.
RESULTS: They were 9 detainees aged between 22-44 years with an average age of 31.1 years. All the detainees were males. Six (66.7%) persons died in police custody, while 2 (22.2%) died in prison custody and 1 (11.1%) person died in police clinic. The shortest duration of detention before death was 1 day (24 hours) and the longest 80 days. Marks of torture were seen in 2 (22.2%) cases. The cause of death was seen in 8 (88.9%) cases. In 1 (11.1%) no anatomic pathologic cause of death was seen. The manner of death was natural in 4 (44.4%), homicide 3 (33.3%), accidental 1 (11.1%) and undetermined 1 (11.1%). The 4 natural causes of death were 2 cases of hypertensive cardiovascular disease, a case of myocardial infarction and a case of alcoholic hepatitis. The cause of death in all the homicidal and accidental cases were massive intracranial bleeding.
CONCLUSION: Natural death is the most common manner of death among detainees in Uyo
Keywords: Custodial Death, Post Mortem Examination, Detainees, Uyo.