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Accidental Hanging: A Novel Mobile Suspension Apparatus Partially Hidden Inside the Clothes

Kodikara, Sarathchandra MBBS, MD, DLM

American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology: December 2012 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 311–313
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31823a8b51
Case Reports

Abstract: Accidental hanging is uncommon. An immobile/fixed and exposed suspension apparatus is seen in almost all cases of hanging. A 50-year-old man, who was drunk, was trying to steal an iron rod by hiding it under his clothing. To secure hiding, he attached it to his body by a loose ligature around the neck, the waist belt of the sarong, and another band around the waist and by his underwear. Sometime later, because of ethanol intoxication, he fell asleep in the sitting position. While he was sitting on the floor, the iron rod was lifted up accidentally, and its upper end was wedged against the wall behind the victim, and the lower end was fixed against the floor. When he fell asleep, the weight of the tilted head acted as the constricting force compressing the neck by the ligature that was used to attach the iron rod to the neck. The cause of death was concluded as hanging in a man with ethanol intoxication. This case highlights a novel mobile suspension apparatus partially hidden inside the clothes, in a case of accidental hanging. A similar case has not been reported in the forensic literature.

From the Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Manuscript received August 18, 2011; accepted September 29, 2011.

No funding was obtained for this study.

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Sarathchandra Kodikara, MBBS, MD, DLM, Attorney-at-Law, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. E-mail: kaskodikara@yahoo.com.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.