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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134457 Find in a Library
Title: U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Recruit Training Deaths in San Diego, California, 1973-1985; A Review of 31 Cases
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:37  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1992)  Pages:185-194
Author(s): S A Wagner; M A Clark
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The deaths of military recruits associated with training activities nearly always fall under close scrutiny from relatives of the deceased recruit and the media. This study describes the circumstances and causes of all recruit deaths occurring at the Naval Training Command and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego from 1973 through 1985.
Abstract: The cases were located by manually searching autopsy files. Autopsy reports were then checked against lists of recruit fatalities that appeared in local newspapers and a list provided by the Marine Corps Public Affairs Office. Investigative reports, hospital records, and autopsy photographs were also available for review. A total of 31 male recruits died during the study period: 8 had medical conditions that were undoubtedly present before basic training; 9 died from incidents related to training; 6 were categorized as sudden cardiac death; and 8 were infectious disease-related deaths. In five cases, conditions were probably known to the recruit, but were not listed on a medical history form. It is concluded that few deaths occur in U.S. Navy and Marine Corps recruits and that those deaths are probably not preventable. Further, much controversy can be avoided when the investigation is integrated with a well-documented autopsy performed by a competent forensic pathologist. 33 references and 5 tables (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Death investigations
Index Term(s): Autopsy; California; Criminal investigation; Forensic pathology; Military crime; US Marine Corps; US Navy
Note: Presented in part at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, 1990, Cincinnati
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