Thursday, 25 June 2015




Complete Hanging


• Hanging is that form of asphyxia which is caused by suspension of the body by a ligature, which encircles the neck, the constricting force being the weight of the body.


Partial Hanging


• The bodies are partially suspended; the weight of the head (5-6 kg) acts as the constricting force.


Typical Hanging


• In typical hanging, the ligature runs from the midline above the thyroid cartilage symmetrically upward on both sides of the neck to the occipital region.


Atypical Hanging


When the Knot is placed at site other than that seen in typical hanging.




Pressure required for closure of Neck Structures


Structure        Pressure(Kg)

Jugular Vien           2

Carotid Artery        5

Trachea                15

Vertebral Artery    30





* The usual period is 3 to 5 minutes

* Fatal hypoxia takes place when O2 Level fall below 20% of normal


Post Mortem Appearance


External Features


• The ligature mark in the neck is themost important and specific sign of death from hanging. The ligature mark is situated above the level of thyroid cartilage between the larynx and the chin in 80 percent cases, it is obliquely placed; does not completely encircles the neck.


• Face is congested, puffed up and bluish


• The eyes are frequently protruded and the conjunctiva congested the pupils are usually dilated.


• Tongue is protuded and may be caught between the teeth.


• Dribbling of saliva from the angle of mouth is the most important & surest external sign of ante mortem hanging*(opposite side to that of knot*).


• Le facies sympathique*: It is a vital sign of ante mortem hanging*

 When the knot presses the Cervical Sympathetic trunk, the eye on that side remain open and the pupil is dilated


• Seminal emission is common, in case of antemortem hanging.


Internal Features


Fracture Hyoid Bone


Abdution fracture or Anterior Compression Fracture is seen in hanging:


• Hyoid bone is fractured in 15-20% cases. Are seen in persons above 40 years.


• Most common site of fracture of hyoid bone in hanging is the at junction of the inner two third and outer third of greater cornu (cf. Inward compression fracture or Adduction fracture seen in case of throttling).


Judicial Hanging


• Legal death sentence is carried out by hanging the criminal, in India.


• The cause of death in judicial is(Brain Stem Damage) fracture dislocation at Atlanto-occipital joint*.


• The knot is placed below the chin,* the length of rope from the point of suspension is equal to the height of individual. There is a sudden drop, resulting in fracture and dislocation of Upper Cervical Vertebrae.

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