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Korean Journal of Legal Medicine 2003;27(2):1-9.
Published online October 31, 2003.
The Statistical Analysis on Legal Autopsy in 2002: The Headquarters of National Institute of Scientific Investigation.
Won Tae Lee, Jae Hong Cho, Chun Do ki, Jae Kwon Kim, Shin Mong Kang
1National Institute of Scientific Investigation, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Forensic Medicine, Catholic University Medical School, Seoul, Korea. Kangsm@catholic.ac.kr
This is a statistical analysis based on the data of legal autopsies performed at the Headquarters of the National Institute Scientific Investigation(NISI), requested by every kind of law enforcement agencies during the year of 2002. NISI is located in Seoul, Korea and has three branches throughout the country. The Seoul NISI covers all legal autopsies in Seoul City, Incheon City and Kyunggi Province and some cases referred from other regions. This report aims to analyse various aspects of 3,045 unusual deaths in Korea, chiefly Seoul and its surrounding area. Followings are the summary of the results. 1. The number of male was 2,199 cases (72.2%) and that of female 846 (27.8%). Male was over twice more than female. The forties were 766 cases (25.2%), the thirties 692 (22.7%), and these two decades occupied 47.9%. 2. Unnatural deaths were 1,810 cases (59.5%), natural 1082 (35.5%), and the unknown 153 (5.0%). Among 1,810 unnatural deaths, suicide was 416 (23.0%), homicide 394 (21.8%), accident 592 (32.7%), and the unclear 408 (22.5%). Homicide occupied 33.3% of trauma, 49.3% of blunt force injury excluding traffic and fall-down injury, and 88.2% of sharp force injury. The homicide rate in asphyxia was 31.7%,but it went up to 59.2% excluding hanging. It showed only 0.4% percent of homicide in poisoning. 3. Traumatic deaths were 867 cases, occupying 47,9% of 1,810 unnatural deaths, followed by poisoning deaths (269 cases). Blunt trauma was 284 cases (32.8%) and the leading cause of death in traumatic death. Poisoning was 269 cases, among which the agrochemicals were dominant (64cases). Thermal injuries were 193 cases, electrocution 16 cases, and starvation/neglect 9 cases. and 17 cases were directly due to medical procedures.4. Among 1,082 natural deaths, heart diseases were 450 cases (41.6%), and vascular diseases 186 (17.2%), and these two categories were added up to 636 (58.8%). 5. Child deaths under the age of 10 were 179 cases. Homicide was 35 cases (37.2%) out of 94 unnatural deaths. Neonates including still births were the leading period of age in unnatural death, counting 48 cases (26.8%)
Key Words: legal autopsy, unusual death, homicide, statistical analysis


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