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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-50

The importance of the autopsy in ascertaining the cause of death and as an audit tool at the university college hospital, Ibadan

Department of Pathology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Michael Chukwugoziem Nweke
Department of Pathology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, PMB 5116, Queen Elizabeth Road, Ibadan 200 212, Oyo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_503_21

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Background: Different reasons for autopsies include medico-legal causes, medical education and deducing the cause of death. An additional benefit is auditing with regards to patient care in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The main objective of this study was to determine the concordance between ante-mortem clinical diagnoses and post-mortem causes of death. Materials and Methods: From January 2009 to December 2015, Autopsy records at the Department of Pathology, University College Hospital, Ibadan were reviewed. Discrepancies between the clinical diagnoses and postmortem findings were categorised using Goldman criteria into major and minor classes. Goldman's criteria can be sub-categorised into five classes: Class I, Class II, Class III, Class IV and Class V. Classification of the cause of death categories was by the International Classification of Diseases, Version 10. The study was carried out with respect to the world medical association's Declaration of Helsinki (2013). Data analysis was carried out with the use of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS version 22). Results: Five hundred and thirty-three cases were involved with a male-female ratio of 1.6. The most common postmortem causes of death were traumatic Injuries (20.6%), Circulatory system-related deaths (19.7%), infections (16.9%) and malignant neoplasms (9.4%). Only 298 (55.9%) of the cases showed a concordance between the post-mortem causes of death and the clinical diagnosis. Conclusion: The post-mortem autopsy is useful in the audit of current medical practice in our environment.

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