OF PALESTINE (WEST BANK) FROM 2010 TO 2012, A RETROSPECTIVE DESCRIPTIVE STUDY
Background: Death registration is a vital way to collect data for epidemiological research and development and implementation of policy to improve health. However, death registration system in Palestine like many other developing countries is incomplete or unreliable in determining cause and manner of death. Autopsy which involves external and internal postmortem examination is a more reliable method to uncover the hidden possible underlying causes of death. The main objective of this study is to assess the epidemiology of autopsy referred cases in the north of West Bank through the study period (2010-2012). Methods: The study utilized a retrospective descriptive study design. It was conducted in the Forensic Medicine Institute, An-Najah National University. The variables included were age, gender, place of residency, date of death, manner of death and cause of death. Data was obtained from the final autopsy report and processed using SPSS program. Results: The total number of cases was 159. There were 77.4% males, 22.6% females. Natural death was the commonest manner of death (39%), followed by accidental death (28.9%). Cardiovascular diseases were the leading cause of death (24.5%) followed by trauma (21.4%). Adult and middle age groups constituted about half of cases. Conclusion: Postmortem examination can reveal the actual manner and cause of death and this is vital to assess the health system and plan new policies to- im-prove public health.