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A study of ligature mark in cases of hanging deaths

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Author(s): T. Saisudheer | T.V.Nagaraja

Journal: International Journal of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
ISSN 0976-5263

Volume: 03;
Issue: 03;
Start page: 80;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Asphyxia deaths | Deaths due to hanging | Forensic medicine | Ligature mark | Ligature materials | Suicide

ABSTRACT
Deaths by ligation constitutes a major chunk of asphyxia deaths and corporal evidence in 99% of cases, speaks about suicidal origin. When any case is submitted to autopsy pathologist, without any evidentiary escort and with a valley of questions and allegations regarding the manner of death, it is doctor’s responsibility to come out with a justifiable opinion regarding many questionnaires. Study aims at avoiding the misinterpretation by keen observation of autopsy findings, careful examination of scene of crime, getting reliable information from near and dear of deceased and detailed study of literatures regarding this subject matter by eminent medico legal experts. Detailed study of 200 cases of asphyxia deaths due to ligature pressure over neck was done in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Kurnool Medical College, Andhra Pradesh, India for a period of two years [2010 &2011. After detailed study of all two hundred cases of asphyxia deaths due to pressure over neck by ligature, statistics were discussed in detail to reach justifiable conclusions which is explained in detail. Suicides by hanging are now becoming a preferential mode particularly in urban population and over taking other modalities like poisoning, burning and drowning. Reasons may be the availability of ligature material, easy accessibility to the suspension point in domestic set up and deaths by hanging are considered as painless deaths when compared to other modes. Many victims are middle aged group and post marital deaths are more than before marriage. Partial hanging type predominates over complete hanging and majority is atypical hangings than typical one. In majority cases the ligature material is one of the wearing cloths followed by ropes and wires or chains. Anatomical damage to the internal neck structures is lesser in suicidal hangings when compared with homicidal hangings and other deaths due to pressure over neck.
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