Volume 30, Issue 4 (October 1985)
Correlation of Circumstances with Pathological Findings in Asphyxial Deaths by Hanging: A Prospective Study of 61 Cases from Seattle, WA
Correlation of the circumstances of death with the pathologic findings in this prospective study of deaths by hanging affords insight pertaining to certain of the pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in fatalities of this type. The presence of conjunctival and facial/periorbital petechial hemorrhages correlates with increasing levels of body support below the point of ligature suspension. Hyoid bone and/or thyroid cartilage fractures (found in 26% of cases) are most frequently identified in those persons found completely suspended and in victims in the older age ranges. No hyoid bone/thyroid cartilage fractures, internal soft tissue injury, or petechiae were present in 13 (21%) of the study cases.