A medico-legal study of infant mortality in Kuwait from 2003 to 2006: A retrospective study

Al-Kandari, Nadiah (2009) A medico-legal study of infant mortality in Kuwait from 2003 to 2006: A retrospective study. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Infant mortality refers to the death of a child less than one year of age. It is a sensitive index of the general health and welfare of the population of any nation. There are several conditions which are associated with infant deaths.
These include congenital disorders, premature birth, infections, sudden infant death syndrome, road traffic, domestic accidents and infanticide and they can be classified as natural and un-natural causes. This retrospective study
described the roles of the Forensic Department in Kuwait in investigating reported infant death cases due to natural and un-natural causes between 2003 and 2006.
There were 220 reported medico-legal cases of infant deaths during the study period. They constituted 12.5% of the overall infant mortality figures in Kuwait (220/1760 deaths). There were more reported medico-legal cases of deaths among Kuwaiti infants (129; 58.6%) compared to reported cases among non-Kuwaiti infants (91; 41.4%). Deaths (147) among male infants were more common than deaths among female infants (73). Infant deaths due to natural causes involved 133 (60.5%) reported cases and these results out numbered the 87 (35.9%) infant deaths due to domestic causes. In addition, reported
medico-legal cases for infant deaths due to domestic mishaps, road traffic accidents and infanticide were 32 (14.6%), 30 (13.6%) and 25 (11.4%), respectively. Moreover, Infanticide was reported exclusively for deaths among non-Kuwaiti infants. The results also revealed that Kuwait has one of the lowest infant mortality rates and the highest literacy rate compared to other Middle East Countries.
In conclusion, the results of this study have identified infections as the main natural cause of infant deaths in Kuwait while domestic accident was the main un-natural cause. Furthermore, this study illustrates that a coordinated effort is required between Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior to investigate reported medico-legal cases in Kuwait.

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