Cervical Injuries in Drowning Cases: A Case Report and a Review of Literature

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Abstract

Discovery of bruises in the muscles of the neck and a fracture of the hyoid bone in a body recovered from water makes the diagnosis and the determination of the manner of death difficult.

The aims of this work are to report a case of a drowned body with cervical injuries and to highlight the importance of interpreting these findings accurately.

A 39-year-old woman was found dead face down in a 6-m deep well with a 3-m water level. She was mentally disturbed and had a history of suicide attempts. In fact, she had previously attempted to jump into that well in an attempt to put an end to her life. The autopsy revealed bruises in the muscles of the neck and a bruise associated with a fracture of the left horn of the hyoid bone.

The mechanism for the origin of drowning-related neck injuries will be discussed.

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