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


  • Wilson O. AKHIWU Medico-legal Unit, Police Clinic, Benin City, Edo State
  • Chukwuemeka C. NWAFOR Department of Pathology, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State


Human bite, face, 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