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Type: Journal article
Title: Positional asphyxia without active restraint following an assault
Author: Fernando, T.
Byard, R.
Citation: Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2013; 58(6):1633-1635
Publisher: Amer Soc Testing Materials
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0022-1198
Statement of
Tarini Fernando and Roger W. Byard
Abstract: Deaths due to positional asphyxia are most often accidental, associated with alcohol and/or drug intoxication. A 19-year-old male is reported who was assaulted and placed in a head-down position in the back of a car were he was later found dead. Brush abrasions indicated that he had been dragged to the vehicle. The head and right shoulder were wedged into the foot well with the body uppermost. At autopsy, there was marked congestion of the face, neck, and upper chest with conjunctival ecchymoses, bruising of the face and scalp, focal subarachnoid hemorrhage, minor cerebral contusion, and diffuse cerebral swelling with early hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Toxicology was negative. Death was attributed to HIE resulting from the unusual positioning of the body. Cases of positional asphyxia involving others may not always include restraint, and when encountered should initiate a careful evaluation of the possible events and lethal pathophysiological processes.
Keywords: forensic science; positional asphyxia; homicide; wedging; suffocation; accident
Rights: © 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
RMID: 0020132546
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.12210
Appears in Collections:Pathology publications

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