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Accidental Hanging by a T-Shirt Collar in a Man With Morphine Intoxication: An Unusual Case

Kodikara, Sarathchandra MBBS, MD, DLM, Attorney-at-Law*†; Alagiyawanna, Ramesh MBBS, MD, DLM

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2011 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 260-262
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182186fac
Case Reports

Accidental hanging is rare across all age groups, and it is even rarer in the adult population except in autoerotic asphyxia. Few cases have been reported in the literature, which describe unusual patterns of accidental hanging. This article focuses on an unusual pattern of accidental hanging of a 25-year-old man, who was in a state of morphine-induced central nervous system depression and found dead in a sitting position with the collar of his T-shirt hanging off a jutting-out root of a tree. The hanged collar acted as a ligature compressing the neck.

From the *Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya; †Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya; and ‡General Hospital, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

Manuscript received November 2, 2010; accepted February 17, 2011.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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

© 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.