• Logo
  • SBMUJournals

Frequency of Hanging Deaths in Lucknow, India 2008-2012

R Shiuli, P Abhishek, KV Anoop, S Mousami




Background: With the advancement of our society, we are able to control death rate by using advanced medical facilities for treatment of natural diseases but certainly we are not able to control the deaths occurring due to the unnatural causes, like deaths due to accidents, suicides and homicides, with hanging being common method of suicide.

Methods: During the 5 years of study period from 2008 to 2012, all the cases of hanging deaths brought to the mortuary of King George’s Medical University were studied with respect to incidence, relationship with sex and age, diurnal variations, manner of death, residence, ligature material and various post mortem findings.

Results: A total 1180 hanging death cases were autopsied with male dominance (54.66%). Most cases belong to 11-30 years age group. Noon and night were most frequent times. Ligature material used most commonly was saree by males and dupatta (scarf) by females. Most cases were from urban background (64.40%). Cyanosis and visceral congestion was found in every case. Most cases were of atypical hanging and suicidal in nature.

Conclusion: Our observation and result conclude that males and young age group population between 15–30 years are more vulnerable victims with suicide as the major contributing cause. This, somehow, indicates frustration and carelessness on the part of population which are preventable and needs to be rectified on urgent basis.


Hanging, Suicide, Ligature material, Petechiae


Azmak, Derya. Asphyxial Deaths: A Retrospective Study and Review of the Literature. American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology. 2006;27(2):134-44.

Mant KA. Mechanical asphyxia. Taylor’s Principal & Practice of Medical Jurisprudence. Churchill Livingstone. 1984;282.

Parikh CK. Parikh Text Book of Medical Jurisprudence Forensic Medicine & Toxicology. CBS Publishers New Delhi. 2002;3:33-40.

Sharma BR, Singh VP, Sharma R, Sumedha H. Unnatural Death in Northern India: A Profile. JIAFM. 2004;26(4):140-6.

Singh RK, Sanatomba, Devi M. Analysis of Changing Patterns of Unnatural Deaths in Manipur during 1991–1995. J Forensic Med Toxicol. 26:23–5.

Murty OP, Agnihotri AK. Homicidal Deaths in South Delhi. J Ind Acad Forensic Med. 2000;22:9–1.

Gargi J, Gorea RK, Chanana A, Mann G. Violent asphyxial deaths - A six years study. Journal of Indian Academy of Forensic Med. 1992;171-6.

Singh A, Singh D. Comparative study of hanging and strangulation cases in northeast and northwest regions of Punjab. Journal of Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology. 2009;9(1):6-8.

Singh A, Gorea K, Dalal S, Thind S, Walia D. A study of demographic variables of violent asphyxial death. Journal of Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. 2003;3:22-5.

Luke L. Asphyxial deaths by hanging in New York City, 1964-65. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 1967;12(3):359-69.

Michael A Clarke, John D. Feczko D. Hawley, Pless J, Tate L, Fardal P. Asphyxial Deaths Due To Hanging in Children. Journal of Forensic Sciences.1993;38(2):344-52.

Petrauskiene J, Kalediene R, Starkuviene S. Methods of Suicides in Lithuania & their Associations with Demographic Factors. Medicina (Kaunas). 2004;40(9):905-11.

Patel-Ankur P, Bhoot-Rajesh R, Patel-Dhaval J, Patel-Khushbu A. Study of Violent Asphyxial Death. International Journal of Medical Toxicology and Forensic Medicine. 2013;3(2):48-57.

Sharma BR, Harish D, Pal-Singh V, Singh P. Ligature mark on neck: How informative. JIAFM. 2005;27(1):10- 5.

Prajapati P, Sheikh I, Brahmbhatt J, Choksi C. A study of violent asphyxial death at Surat, Gujrat. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology. 201;5(1):66-70.

Sharija S, Sreekumari K, Geetha O. Epidemiological profile of suicide by hanging in southern parts of Kerala: An autopsy based study. J Indian Acad Forensic Med. 2011;33(3):237-40.

Franklin CA. Modi’s Text Book of Medical Jurisprudence & Toxicology. 21st ed., N.M. Tripathi Private Limited Bombay/ 1988;188-220.

Luke L, Ready T, Eisele W, Bonnell J. Correlation of circumstances with pathological findings in asphyxial deaths by hanging: a prospective study of 61 cases from Seattle, WA. J Forensic science.1985;30(4):1140-7.

Vijaynath V, Anitha MR, Rajan K. A study of autopsy profile in cases of hanging. Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. 2009;26(1):34-6.

Reutor F. Fracture of hyoid bone is 60% in typical hanging and 30% in atypical hanging. Ztsch Heitk. 1901;22:112-45.

Smith S, Fiddes FS. Fracture of hyoid bone practically never occur in hanging. Forensic medicine, 10th edition. 1995;London Churchill. 252.

Weintraub C M. Fracture of hyoid bone is seen in 27% cases of hanging. Med-leg.J 1961. (Camb); 21: 209-216.

Mukherjee JB. Forensic Medicine and toxicology, edited by Karmakar RN, Academic publishers Kolkata. 2007;571-651.

.Betz P, Eisenmenger W. Frequency of Throat-Skeleton Fracture in hanging. American journal of forensic medicine & pathology. 1996;17(3):191-93.

Nandi A. Principles of forensic medicine. New central book agency Ltd. 2nd edition. 2007;315-43.

Reddy K S N. The essential of forensic medicine and toxicology, K.Sugunadevi, 28th edition. 2009;299-333.

Nikolic S, Micic J, Antanasijevic T, Djokic V, Djonic D. Analysis of neck injuries in hanging. American journal of forensic medicine & pathology. 2003;24(2):179-82.

Naik SK, Patil Y. Fracture of hyoid bones in cases of asphyxial deaths resulting from constricting force round neck. JIAFM. 2005;2(3):149- 53.

Guhraj PV. Forensic Medicine. 2nd ed. edited by M.R. Chandran. Orient Longman. New Delhi. 2003:175-81.

Ahammed-Khan F, Anand B, Krishna Murthy K. Psychological autopsy of suicide- a cross- sectional study. Indian J Psychiatry. 2005;47(2):73-8.

Benjamin J Sadock, Virginia A Sadock. Kaplan & Sadock‘s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry. 7th ed. Lippincort Williams & Wilkins. PA. 2000:2031-6.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/ijmtfm.v5i3(Summer).7497