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Profile of suicidal hanging presented to a tertiary care hospital: a descriptive study

Authors:

I.G.D. Kitulwatte ,

University of Kelaniya, LK
About I.G.D.
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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P.A.S. Edirisinghe,

University of Kelaniya, LK
About P.A.S.
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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U.D. Senarathne,

University of Sri Jayawardenepura, LK
About U.D.
Department of Bio-chemistry, Faculty of Medicine
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H. K. N. L. Pratheepa Mendis,

University of Kelaniya, LK
About H. K. N. L. Pratheepa
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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P. R. Wijesinghe,

University of Kelaniya, LK
About P. R.
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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A. Fernando

University of Kelaniya, LK
About A.
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

When a body is found suspended, the forensic pathologist is expected to give an opinion on the manner of death excluding or confirming possible criminal involvement. Conclusion is easy when findings are classic. However, it is a dilemma when there are atypical findings.

 

Objectives

To analyze the autopsy findings in deaths due to hanging and to have an insight into the typical and atypical findings in order to appreciate the difficulties in interpretation.

 

Methods

A retrospective descriptive study on post mortem records of the victims of hanging during a period of three years, brought to a tertiary care hospital. The findings of death investigation including background information, scene, and autopsy examination were analysed.

 

Results

Total of hundred and twelve records of deaths due to suicidal hanging were perused and 97 (86.6%) out of them were males. The majority of victims (37%) were in the age group of 21 to 40 years. The complete suspensions was identified in most cases (79.5%). The commonest ligature material (25%) was the coir rope. Sixty-nine were having a ligature mark rising to an inverted ‘V’. Classic signs were observed in 47% and the presence of classic signs was significantly associated with partial suspension (p<0.001). Internal injuries were observed in 34% and the majority were fractures. Internal injuries had no significant association to the degree of suspension (p=0.11).
How to Cite: Kitulwatte, I.G.D., Edirisinghe, P.A.S., Senarathne, U.D., Mendis, H.K.N.L.P., Wijesinghe, P.R. and Fernando, A., 2019. Profile of suicidal hanging presented to a tertiary care hospital: a descriptive study. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 10(2), pp.14–24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v10i2.7823
Published on 05 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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