A Study of Asphyxial Death Cases in Medico-Legal Autopsy

AUTHOR(s) : Gupta Ved Prakash, Mahanta P
DOI No. : 09.2016-99555553

Literally, the term asphyxia means absence of pulsation (pulselessness), though its usage in Forensic Medicine has generally come to mean a lack of oxygen. Actually Asphyxia is best described as an interference with respiration due to any cause – Mechanical, Environmental, or Toxic1. During the year 2011 and 2012, 2777 and 2793 autopsies were conducted in the mortuary of the department of Forensic Medicine, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati, out of which asphyxial deaths were 15.8% and 19% respectively. So there is an enough scope of doing such an important study as the number of such cases is high. In this study at the Gauhati Medical College, Guwahati, Assam during the period from 1st July 2012 to 30th June 2013, out of the 2772 cases being autopsied in mortuary, 320 (11.54%) cases were of deaths due to asphyxia. Hanging topped the list with 250(78.12%) cases followed by drowning, 64(20%) cases, strangulation, 3 (0.94%) cases and choking, 3(0.94%) cases. The others epidemiological data, i.e. occupation, motive and circumstances of the death, etc. were discussed to know the pattern of asphyxial death cases as well as way of preventions by adopting certain measures.

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