Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral
On-line version ISSN 1561-3038
BARREIRO RAMOS, Héctor; BARREIRO PENARANDA, Adriana; FERNANDEZ VIERA, Eugenio and MARRERO MARTIN, Ofelia. Quality of referrals at a legal medicine service. Rev Cubana Med Gen Integr [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.5-6, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1561-3038.
The Legal Medicine services are designated for giving attention to deaths of judicial interest; however, many times they receive dead bodies that do not correspond to them, generating unnecessary delays, additionalexpenses and other difficulties. The causes originating these referrals are, among others, the few hours devoted in the curricula to study these problems in the undergraduate stage. They are included in the 5th year of the medical career and the classes are generally theoretical. Nevertheless, in most of the Latin American countries, they are programmed for the 6th year and each student receives an average of 20 practical hours. In order to know these actings and the negative repercussion they have, a descriptive study of all those who died as a result of diseases, whose bodies were sent to the Provincial Center of Legal Medicine in Havana City, from 1999 to 2001, was conducted. A form was designed for collecting information and data were expressed in percentages. The results showed that 22 % of the referrals in these years corresponded to natural deaths that have nothing to do with Legal Medicine. The reasons for which they were referred were not exactly for criminal suspicion, but for not knowing the causes of death, having died in the emergency department, or on the way, or outside a health service. All this shows the lack of knowledge of the medicolegal actings regarding the dead.
Keywords : Medicolegal actings; sudden death; sudden death; suspected death; violent death; death caused by disease.