Circumstances and autopsy findings in drownings, Department of Forensic Medicine, Aarhus University, 2006-2015

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The purpose of this study was to examine the demographic circumstances and the autopsy findings regarding drowning deaths autopsied at the Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Aarhus. The study is based on autopsy reports from the Department of Forensic Medicine in Aarhus, 2006-2015 with drowning as a cause of death. Among the 135 cases of the study, 87 (64.4%) were accidents versus 33 (24.4%) suicides. The study showed, that the majority of the drowned 73,3% were males, especially pronounced in the accidents (81.6% were males). In 60.7% victims, there was a positive blood alcohol analysis, most often in males. Females with positive alcohol analyses did however have the highest mean alcohol blood level (1.65 versus 1.47 per mile). The most frequent place of the submersions was docks (24.4%) and the most frequent time of day was in the evening (18.00 - 23.59; 19.3%) and at night (00.00 - 05.59; 20.0%). The study shows no significant connection between adipocere and type of water (OR=1.21, 95% CI (0.49; 2.99), p=0.68), bulging lungs and type of water (OR= 1.18, 95% CI (0.52; 2.70), p=0.69), lung weight and type of water (z-test, p=0.38) and the amount of pleural effusion and water type (z-test, p= 0.16). A significant connection between the presence of pleural effusion and type of water cannot discounted (OR= 2.37, 95% CI (1.06; 2.44), p=0.02).

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Forensic Science
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • drowning, emphysema, medico legal autopsy, alcohol, pleural effusion, lung weight, submersions

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 169349143