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A Case of Suicidal Ligature Strangulation by Using a Tourniquet Method

Atilgan, Mehmet MD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2010 - Volume 31 - Issue 1 - p 85-86
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181c21c24
Case Report

Ligature strangulations are usually homicidal. Accidental and suicidal ligature strangulations are quite rare. In this study, an unusual case of suicidal ligature strangulation with a tourniquet method using a walking stick is presented.

A 70-year-old-man was found dead in his room, a piece of cloth wrapped around the neck, knotted, and tightened by a walking stick. His hand was still on the walking stick which was seemingly used by him for a tourniquet effect. Autopsy showed bilateral sternocleidomastoid muscle hemorrhage. A thorough death scene investigation, detailed corpse examination, and autopsy are extremely important for determining the manner of death in such ligature strangulation cases.

From the Department of Forensic Medicine, Akdeniz University Medical Faculty, Antalya Branch of the Council of Forensic Medicine, Antalya, Turkey.

Manuscript received January 5, 2009; accepted May 27, 2009.

Presented at the First International Eurasian Congress of Forensic Sciences, October 8–11, 2008, Istanbul, Turkey.

Reprints: Mehmet Atilgan, MD, Akdeniz University Medical Faculty, Department of Forensic Medicine, Antalya, Turkey. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.