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SHORT REPORT
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 207-208

Mortality among homeless women who remain unclaimed after death: An insight


Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029, India

Correspondence Address:
Chittaranjan Behera
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 28050997

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Background. Some homeless people remain unclaimed after death. Although women constitute a minor proportion among the homeless, they represent a more vulnerable section. We reviewed the major autopsy characteristics and causes of death among women whose bodies remained unclaimed after death. Methods. We analysed the autopsy records and inquest papers of unclaimed bodies of women for the period 2006-12 at the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Results. Most women whose bodies were unclaimed were 21 to 60 years old with a mean age of 45 years. Natural events (53.5%), largely attributable to acute/chronic lung diseases, were identified as the most common cause of death. Accidental deaths were predominant among the unnatural causes. Most bodies of women were found on the footpath besides the road (56.1%). Conclusion. The problems of physical/sexual abuse, acute chest infections and road traffic accidents are all aggravated in the situation of homelessness. More affordable shelters are needed to preferentially accommodate women. Also, awareness about the existing medical facilities needs to be increased.


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