Retrospective Analysis of Hanging Deaths in Ontario.
J Forensic Sci. 2016 Aug 12;
Authors: Tugaleva E, Gorassini DR, Shkrum MJ
Hanging deaths from investigation standpoint are rarely problematic. Unusual circumstances can on occasion raise suspicion of foul play. Associated neck injuries are reported in the literature with variable frequency (from 0% to 76.8%). This study retrospectively analyzed 755 hanging deaths in Ontario (Canada) to evaluate the demographic features and circumstances of hanging fatalities, and the frequency of hanging-related neck injuries. A number of cases showed unusual/special circumstances (e.g., complex, double suicides, restraints). Among 632 cases with complete autopsies, hyoid and larynx fractures were present in 46 cases (7.3%) with the most common being isolated hyoid fractures. The incidence of cricoid fractures was 0.5% and cervical spine injuries, 1.1%. A higher incidence of neck injuries occurred among males, long drop hangings, and in cases with complete suspension. There was a tendency for the number of fractures to increase with increasing age and weight of the deceased.
PMID: 27514837 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]