Retrospective analysis of forensic cases in refugees admitted to emergency department

Published:December 08, 2018DOI:



      The aim of this study was to compare the distribution and frequency of forensic medical events in a refugee group with that of the general population, and thus, extrapolate the problems encountered in the immigrant population.


      Those cases admitted to the emergency department (ED) for any reason that required a forensic examination between January 2016 and June 2018 were investigated retrospectively.


      A total of 310 refugees were admitted to the ED for forensic medical events. The most common nations of origin of the refugees were Iraq (n = 167), Syria (n = 65), and Afghanistan (n = 28). The median age of the refugees was 24 years old (interquartile range = 17–33). With regard to forensics, the most common reasons for the refugees to present to the ED were motor vehicle accidents 27.4%, assaults 25.8%, employment and industrial accidents 16.1%, and suicide attempts 10.3%. Other than suicide attempts, all of the forensic presentations were more common in the males. The outcomes of the refugee group were as follows: 92.3% were discharged, 5.8% were admitted to the hospital, 1% were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and 1% were transferred. Suicide attempts were the most common reasons for the ICU admissions, while the most common reasons for the hospital admissions were orthopedic injuries.


      In general, the forensic event frequency in the refugee group was lower (p = 0.001); however, this was a single center study, and there could have been unrecorded cases due to an inability to access healthcare assistance, so these results may not be reliable.


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