Traumatic Rupture of Deep Neck Structures in Hanging: Two Case Reports

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Injuries to the neck structures are various in case of hanging. Soft tissue lesions generally consist in sternocleidomastoid and subhyoid muscle hemorrhages. Traumatic ruptures of deep neck structures are rare. We report 2 cases of partial and complete ruptures of sternocleidomastoid muscles after suicidal hanging. Both were typical and complete hanging. In 1 case, muscle laceration was associated with common carotid rupture on the same side. Hemorrhage at the rupture site was only found at the microscopic level. Such injuries may result from the ligature’s compression and depend on duration of suspension. Heavy body weight, rigid rope material, and fall after a jump may promote their occurrence.

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