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Apparent Partial Hanging

Kanchan, Tanuj MBBS, DFM, MD*; Rastogi, Prateek MBBS, MD, PGDMLE, PGDCFS*; Menezes, Ritesh G. MBBS, MD, PGDMLS, DNB*; Nagesh, K.R. MBBS, MD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 2010 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 376-377
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181f69c72
Case Reports

A careful analysis of circumstances and investigations of death scene are required before commenting on the manner of death in a case of hanging. Hanging may result from either complete or incomplete suspension of the body. Two cases of hanging are reported where discrimination in eyewitness's account and death scene investigation report was evident regarding type of hanging (complete/partial). The use of term apparent partial hanging is proposed in such cases. Body position in hanging is one of the numerous factors that determine the strength of the neck compression by the ligature and thus should be considered in the evaluation of dying process and pathomorphologic feature of hanging. The cases also put a probable explanation to the higher incidence of partial hangings in different studies. We believe that incidence of true partial hangings may be much lower than that reported in the literature.

From the *Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College (Affiliated to Manipal University); and the †Department of Forensic Medicine, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, India.

Manuscript received May 21, 2008; accepted December 12, 2008.

This study has no source of support in form of grants.

Reprints: Tanuj Kanchan, MBBS, DFM, MD, Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College (Affiliated to Manipal University), Mangalore, India. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.