|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 124-126
A study of electrocution deaths in Manipur
Soreingam Ragui1, Th Meera1, Kh Pradipkumar Singh1, Ph Madhubala Devi2, A Sylvia Devi1
1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India
2 Department of Pathology, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India
|Date of Web Publication||19-Nov-2013|
Department of Forensic Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Injury and death from the passage of electric current through the body is common in both industrial and domestic circumstances. The study has been carried out to find out the incidence of electrocution deaths in Manipur and also to detect the common source of electrocution, and study the pattern of injuries sustained by the victims. Materials and Methods: In this study, medicolegal reports of electrocution cases brought for autopsy during 2007 to 2011 at our centre have been analyzed as regards the history of the cases, police papers, and post-mortem examination findings. The findings were recorded in proformas and analyzed. Results: Twenty five cases (1.02%) were electrocution deaths and males outnumbered females. The highest number of cases was observed in the age group of 21-30 years followed by 31-40 years. Most of the victims were electrocuted on the road side (68%) and the remaining victims were electrocuted in their houses. The most common causative agent was the high tension wire (60%) followed by the home appliances (28%). 80% of the cases died on the spot and the majority of these victims were electrocuted by the high tension wires. All the electrocution deaths in the present series were accidental cases and no homicidal or suicidal cases were observed. Conclusion: The risk of getting electrocuted from the haphazardly installed electric wires without proper maintenance in most parts of this place is indeed a matter of concern. The spread of awareness and adoption of safety measures are important factors required for prevention of fatal electrocution.
Keywords: Accidental, Electrocution, Entry wound, Exit wound, High tension wire
|How to cite this article:|
Ragui S, Meera T, Singh KP, Devi PM, Devi A S. A study of electrocution deaths in Manipur. J Med Soc 2013;27:124-6
| Introduction|| |
Electrocution is the passage of a substantial electrical current through the tissue, which can cause skin lesions, organ damage, and death. Injury and death from the passage of electric current through the body are common in both industrial and domestic circumstances. The incidence of electrocution deaths in the developed country like the united states during the year of 2002-2008 is 432 (consumer product associated electrocution)  and in a developing country like India during 2008 and 2009 are 8067 and 8539 deaths respectively, i.e., 2.4% of all accidental deaths (National Crime Reports Bureau).  Hence, the present study has been carried out to study the incidence of electrocution deaths in Manipur and also to detect the common source of electrocution, and study the pattern of injuries sustained by the victims.
| Materials and Methods|| |
This retrospective study was carried out in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal during a period of 5 years, i.e., 2007-2011. Analysis of the medicolegal reports of electrocution cases brought for autopsy at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal have been carried out as regards the history of the cases, police papers, and post-mortem examination findings. The findings were recorded in proformas and analyzed.
| Results|| |
In the present study, out of the 2463 cases analyzed, 25 cases (1.02%) were cases of electrocution. The year 2010 had the highest number of electrocution deaths [Figure 1], and male victims outnumbered female victims [Figure 2]. The highest number of cases was observed in the age group of 21-30 years followed by 31-40 years as shown in [Figure 3]. Most of the victims were electrocuted on the road side (68%) and the remaining victims were electrocuted in their houses [Figure 4]. As shown in [Figure 5], the most common causative agent was high tension wires (60%) followed by the home appliances (28%). Entry and corresponding exit of the electrical injuries were observed in 72% of the cases while no entry or exit wounds were observed in 20% of the cases [Table 1]. As shown in [Table 2]a and b, the upper extremity was the most frequently involved site of entry (56%) followed by the head and neck region (16%); and exit wounds were mostly observed in the lower extremities (44%). 80% of the cases died on the spot [Figure 6] and the majority of these victims were electrocuted by high tension wire. All the electrocution deaths in the present series were accidental cases and no homicidal or suicidal cases were observed.
|Figure 3 : Showing the age distribution of electrocution cases (in years)|
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| Discussion|| |
The wide-spread commercial utilization of electrical power has been associated with a rapid increase of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. In our study, male accounted for 96% of the cases, which is in consistence with the findings of other workers. ,, This male predominance is attributed to more association of males with electrical appliances and repair of electrical appliances more than their female counterparts. The most common age group in this study was 21-30 years (40%) and electrocution was very rare in both extremes of ages. This age group is the most active phase in life with higher chances of exposure to risk. Bharath et al.,  Gupta et al.  and Shaha and Joe  observed similar findings in different parts of the country.
Indoor (household) accidental electrocution (78.06%) was observed by Dokov  in Varna. Similar findings were observed by Byard et al.  in South Australia, Bharath et al.  in Andhra Pradesh, India and Gupta et al. in Gujarat, India. These findings are in contrast to the findings of our study where most of the cases occurred outdoors (68%). This low incidence of electrocution indoors (household) could be attributed to the erratic power supply in this place leading to non-availability of electric supply in the majority of the households (only 2-3 h/day for domestic consumers). Poor maintenance of the electric cables in this part of the country starting from using of bad quality wire, breakage, which may remain unattended on the road side may be the cause of accidental electrocution outdoors. 42.3% and 17.1% of the cases were caused by electric wires and electric cables while the remaining cases were caused by household appliances.  However, in the present study, 60% of the cases were electrocuted by high tension wires.
Nearly, 75.6% of the cases had only entry wounds while 11.4% had no entry or exit wounds in a study by Tirasci.  This is in contrast to the findings of the present study where 72% had entry and corresponding exit wounds. The cases (20%) without any entry or exit wounds in this study had wet body surfaces at the time of electrocution. 77.77% of entry wounds were observed in the upper limb and 43.75% of exit wounds in the lower limb by Bharath et al.  Similar findings were observed by Sheikhazadi et al.  and Tirasci  We also observed that most of the entry wounds were on the upper extremities while exit wounds were located in the lower extremities.
In a study by Sheikhazadi, 60.7% were dead on the scene and 31.9% were dead on arrival at the hospital.  In our study, significant number of victims died immediately following electric shock (80%) and this immediate death could be explained by the fact that high tension wire was the most common source of electrocution in our study.
In Varna, Bulgaria 78.06% of the electrocution cases were accidental in a study by Dokov;  whereas, it was 61.86% in another study by Shaha and Joe  in Tamil Nadu, India. Interestingly, in the present series, all the cases were accidental in nature.
| Conclusion|| |
The risk of getting electrocuted from the haphazardly installed electric wires without proper maintenance in most parts of this place is indeed a matter of concern. Interestingly, electric supply system has been updated in the previous year with the installation of underground cables in some parts of the state and positive changes are expected in the near future. Nevertheless, spread of awareness and adoption of safety measures are important factors required for prevention of fatal electrocution.
| References|| |
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]
[Table 1], [Table 2]