Death due to Mechanical Asphyxia: - A Medico-Legal Retrospective Study at the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, KEMU, Lahore.
Keywords:Mechanical Asphyxia, Hanging, Strangulation, Suicide
Objectives: This is a study of one year to find out the pattern of deaths due to mechanical asphyxia found on scrutiny of the record of autopsies conducted during 1-1-2016 to 31-12-2016.
Methodology: Out of a total of 785 autopsies conducted during the period of study, All the cases that fulfill the inclusion criteria were selected and these were 25 cases where death was attributed to mechanical asphyxia and analysis of these cases was made with respect to Age, Sex, Address, Type of Mechanical Asphyxia, Manner of death, Level of Ligature Mark, Presence of Non-Specific Signs of Asphyxia and Fracture of the Hyoid Bone.
Results: Cases of mechanical asphyxial deaths constituted 3.18% of all the autopsies conducted during 2016 at Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, King Edward Medical University, Lahore. Cases of compression of neck constituted 84% while of smothering and gagging had a combined incidence of 16%. In the fatal compression of neck, Hanging constituted 33%, Ligature Strangulation 57% and Throttling 10% of the total cases. Victims were predominantly between the ages of 21-40 years (61.90%) with a female to male ratio of 2.125: 1.
Conclusion: Mechanical asphyxial deaths are mostly due to compression of neck with ligature strangulation being the predominant method. Victims are more commonly Females. Manner of death is predominantly suicidal.
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