Autopsy profile of sudden natural death in a tertiary care center: A retrospective analysis

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Introduction: World Health Organisation (WHO) defines sudden death as death which occurred within 24 hours of onset the symptoms. On the other hand sudden cardiac death is unexpected death due to cardiac pathology, early after symptom onset usually within 1 hour or without the onset of symptoms. Ischemic heart diseases are the leading causes of sudden natural deaths and most cases are due to coronary artery disease. Aim of this Study: It is a retrospective analysis to determine incidence of Sudden Natural death (SND) at mortuary of Government Wenlock District hospital, Mangalore. To determine the age, gender distribution, its cause and to evaluate gross and histopathological findings. Material and Method: Confirmed cases of all deaths due to sudden natural causes based on histologic and gross findings from medicolegal case records for a period of two years. (2017, 2018) were evaluated. Results: Total numbers of 199 cases of SND were autopsied during the study period. Maximum deaths occurred in the age group between 51 and 60 years. Males are affected more than females. The main causes of the death in 90 cases (45.2%) were attributed to cardiac aliment, among cardiac diseases the most common cause is coronary artery disease and the remaining 109 cases (44.8%) were due to extra cardiac causes. Out of all sudden natural deaths, cardiac gross and histopathologic findings to death due to cardiovascular system ratio was greater than that of extracardiac gross and histopathologic findings to extra cardiac deaths (gross ratio 2.61 versus 1.51) and (histologic ratio 1.71 versus 1.48) respectively. Conclusion: It is found that sudden deaths are most commonly found in adults (51-60 years) and most of them are attributed to a cardiac cause.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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