JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Profile of medicolegal autopsies in Pekanbaru, Indonesia 2007-2011.

Medicolegal autopsy should be carried out for all unnatural deaths to ascertain facts pertaining to death. A retrospective 5-year study was carried out by the Forensic Medicine and Medicolegal Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Riau to describe the profile of medicolegal autopsies in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. There were 613 unnatural deaths and 73 (11.9%) medicolegal autopsies recorded between 2007 and 2011. The number of unnatural deaths showed a decreasing trend whereas the number of medicolegal autopsies increased over the years. The percentage of unnatural deaths subjected to medicolegal autopsy varied between 2.2% and 23.1% per year. Of the 73 medicolegal autopsy subjects, 68.5% (n = 50) were male and 31.5% (n = 23) females. The ages of victims ranged from newborn babies to 72 years, with a median of 28 years. 61.6% of cases were in the 20-39 years age-group. Sixty (82.2%) had unnatural deaths. The leading cause of death was blunt force (30.1%) and sharp force (20.5%). Homicide was the predominant manner of death. Our study highlights that the main interest of the police in requesting a medicolegal autopsy is for investigation of homicide. Recognizing that autopsy has an important role in the investigation of unnatural deaths, further studies should be carried out to understand the factors that impact on the low percentage of medicolegal autopsies in unnatural deaths, so that solutions may be found for the future.

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