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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 1645-1648

Child deaths due to firearm-related İnjuries in Adana, Turkey

1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey
2 Department of Forensic Medicine, Council of Forensic Medicine, Diyarbakır, Turkey
3 Department of Forensic Medicine, Council of Forensic Medicine, Adana, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Z Erdem
Department of Forensic Medicine, Council of Forensic Medicine, Adana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_549_20

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Background: Death by firearm is unacceptable for children who need to be under the protection of the state and the family, wherever and however. Firearm-related fatality is common among all ages. One of the causes of this high rate is likely the easy access to firearms. Aim: This study aims to discuss the characteristics of deaths attributable to childhood firearm injuries in Adana, Turkey and to compare them with similar studies. Patients and Methods: In this study, the records of 448 (1.97%) cases under 18 years of age who died due to firearm-related injuries among a total of 22,668 cases whose autopsies were performed by the Morgue Department, Council of Forensic Medicine Adana Group Administration between January 1, 2004 and December 12, 2017 were retrospectively evaluated. Results: Age ranged from 45 days to 18 years; 285 cases were male and 163 cases were female, and male/female ratio was 1.7. The majority of cases were between 13 and 18 years of age (n: 340, 76.0%). According to the manner of death, the leading cause was homicide (n: 212, 47.4%) and the most frequently used type of firearm were shotguns (n: 226). Single firearm wound was present in 82.8% of the cases. The location of entrance wounds revealed that 185 wounds were located in the head-neck. Although homicide was the leading manner of death among the overall cases, it was determined that suicide was the leading cause among the 13-18 age group (n: 149). Firearm-related injuries and deaths in children should bring child neglect to the agenda. Conclusion: Presence of firearms at home and easy access are the causes of increased firearm injuries and death in children. Easily accessible weapons in homes are often involved in suicides and homicides, as well as accidents, which are more common in young children and adolescents. We believe that the use of firearms outside of the security forces should be prohibited and that strict laws should be enforced on the handling and use of firearms.

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