Profile of asphyxial deaths at district hospital mangalore – A retrospective study

Esmael Said, Prateek Rastogi, P. P. Jagadish Rao, H. Pavan Chand Shetty, B. Suresh Kumar Shetty, M. S. Kotian, Gedion Hailemariam Abebe

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Asphyxia is a condition caused by interference with respiration or due to lack of oxygen in inspired air due to which the organs and tissues are deprived of oxygen causing unconsciousness or death. Asphyxial deaths constitute a large group of medico-legal autopsy cases with hanging and drowning at top of the list. The present study was undertaken to determine the frequency of various asphyxial deaths and the demographic profile of the victims in Mangalore, a coastal district of India. A two years retrospective study was conducted on a total of 162 cases of asphyxial deaths out of of1808 post mortems conducted from November 2014-October 2016 at Distt. Hospital Mangalore. The data was collected from the autopsy report and inquest forms. Hanging was the most common form of asphyxial death constituting 67.9% of cases followed by drowning (27.8%) and strangulation (2.4%), Smothering and plastic bag suffocation were seen in 1.2% and 0.6% of cases respectively. Male predominance was observed and the most common age group involved was 31-40 years. Majority of the hanging cases occurred in closed places and suicide was found to be the most common manner of death. The most common location for drowning was river followed by Sea. In any asphyxial death, a meticulous autopsy plays a major role to solve the case along with crime scene investigation. Education, involvement of young generations in non destructive activities, encouraging organizations which work on the reduction of addiction, appropriate management plan for those with psychiatric problem and improving the socioeconomic status of the people and providing employment are keys to prevent suicidal asphyxial deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology


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