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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-31

Analysis of ligature marks in hanging: A retrospective study of autopsies in the mortuary of a tertiary health-care center in North East India from 2011 to 2019


Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Memchoubi Phanjoubam
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jms.jms_142_21

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Background: Many times, a ligature mark may be the only evidence available in cases of asphyxial deaths due either to hanging or strangulation. A thorough examination of the ligature mark and analysis of the information provided by it is, therefore, a must to confirm the death as due to hanging. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted at the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, between 2011 and 2019 to assess the information provided by a ligature mark in such cases. Results: We found that deaths due to hanging constituted 7.1% of the total unnatural deaths subjected to medicolegal autopsy. Rope (34.93%) was the most common ligature material used. Majority of the victims preferred slip knots (53.61%), followed by fixed knots (46.38%). In most of the cases, the mark was obliquely placed (83.73%) and above the larynx (77.1%). Imprint over the groove when present corresponded with the ligature material used in all the cases. Conclusion: It was concluded that a thorough, scientific examination of the ligature mark, though not conclusive, is the most important part of the postmortem examination of deaths due to hanging.


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