Human Bites as a Weapon of Violence: How Common are they and Do they Constitute a Significant Medical Evidence?


  • Wilson Oberaifo AKHIWU, (MBBS, MSC, FMCPath, FWACP)
  • Chukwuemeka Charles NWAFOR, (MBBS, FMCPath, Dip FHID)


crime, human bite mark, police


Objective: To document the pattern of HBM seen in police clinic Benin City Nigeria.

Methods: This is a review of all the human bite mark (HBM) seen at the police clinic.

Results: HBM were seen in 68 cases of assault and included 90 separate bites. The youngest victim was 10 years old while the oldest was 59 years with a mean age of 31.9±9.68. Age group 30-39 years accounted for most cases. Female victims were more in number both as victims and as assailants. About 94.1% of the assailants were known.  The major events that lead to the use of human bite (HB) were quarrel and fights which accounted for 98.5% of cases. HB was mainly used in conjunction with other weapons.  About 77.9% of the HB had single bite marks while complete tissue avulsion were seen in 1.5% of cases. The arm was the commonest site (17.8%), closely followed by the fingers (15.6%).

Conclusion: This will serve as a baseline data in Nigeria, while we strongly advocate the development of a proforma for HBM examination following ABFO guideline and HIV PEP for victims with grade 4 HBM and above.



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