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J Forensic Leg Med. 2010 Nov;17(8):407-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2010.08.002. Epub 2010 Sep 19.

Homicides against infants, children and adolescents in Budapest (1960-2005).

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  • 1Department of Forensic and Insurance Medicine, Semmelweis University, 1091-Hungary, Budapest Ülloi út 93, Hungary.



The objective of this study was to determine the characteristics and trends of fatal child abuse that would assist family doctors in detecting signs of maltreatment.


There were 363 (193 males, 170 females) such cases autopsied at the Department of Forensic and Insurance Medicine at Budapest from 1960 to 2005. Information was collected from forensic autopsy records. Data were analyzed according to age, gender, type of abuse, injured body region, and seasonal distribution. The first detection of fatal injuries and death certification were usually done by GPs or ambulance at the scene of the homicide or hospital paediatricians in cases with survival period between the injuries and death.


Our results suggest a definitive decrease in fatal child abuse cases during the investigated period. In the first part of study period suffocation of infants represent a great number of cases. Infanticide rapidly dropped after the mid 1970s. In this material 89.3% of fatal cases was detected and reported by family doctors.


Rate of homicides against infants, children and adolescents reflect the effectiveness of the preventative strategies, the child protection policy and the unique primary health care system for youth. GPs have an important role in the investigation of infanticides and homicide cases against children and adolescents.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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