ArticleClinicopathologic Features of Fatal Self-Inflicted Incised and Stab Wounds: A 20-Year StudyByard, Roger W. M.D.; Klitte, Åsa M.B., B.S.; Gilbert, John D. F.R.C.P.A.; James, Ross A. F.R.C.P.A.Author Information From the Forensic Science Centre, Adelaide, South Australia. Manuscript received March 28, 2001; accepted August 1, 2001. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Roger W. Byard, M.D., Forensic Science Center, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide 5000, Australia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2002 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 15-18 Buy Abstract The files of the Forensic Science Center in Adelaide, South Australia, were examined for all cases listed as suicide in which death had been caused by the use of a sharp instrument during the 20-year period from January 1981 to December 2000. Fifty-one cases were identified, consisting of 35 men and 16 women. The age range was 23 to 83 years (mean 49 years) representing 1.6% of total suicides (51/3182). Fatal injuries included incised wounds to the arms in 51.4% of men (n = 18/35) compared with 87.5% of women (n = 14/16), incised and stab wounds to the neck in 40% of men (n = 14/35) and 25% of women (n = 4/16), and stab wounds to the chest or abdomen in 28.6% of men (n = 10/35) and 12.5% of women (n = 2/16). In 8 cases, multiple sites were involved. The use of sharp instruments in suicide was favored by older, rather than younger, individuals, with a tendency for women to incise their wrists. Hesitation marks were present in 23 cases (54%) and scarring of the wrists from previous suicide attempts in 5 cases. Although this study demonstrated a higher number of men than women committing suicide by using sharp objects, this method of suicide remains uncommon. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.