Hanging Deaths: A Retrospective Study Regarding 260 Cases

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Abstract

Hanging is a form of asphyxia caused by external pressure on the upper airways deriving from a band tightened by the gravitational weight of the body. During a 33-year period from 1983 to 2015, there were 260 hanging deaths examined at the Brescia Institute of Forensic Medicine (Northern Italy), which represented approximately 40% of all the asphyxial deaths recorded during this period. Almost all of the cases were represented by suicidal events, 1 case was a homicide event and there also was a case of sexual asphyxia. Eighty-two percent of the victims were men; 18% were women. There was an increasing tendency in the ages between 20 and 60 years, and the highest number of cases was observed in the 41- to 50-year age group (23% of the cases). The most common place chosen by the victim was the home setting followed by isolated outdoor places. The most common ligature material was a rope. The pathological findings were evaluated in all cases.

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