Suicide by asphyxia is quite a common event in forensic practice and may be implemented in different ways. The authors report a unique case of a 16-year-old youth who committed suicide by means of a standard mercury sphygmomanometer. This manner of suicide has never been described in the literature reviewed. A complete forensic investigation led to the conclusion that the cause of death was mechanical asphyxia, ascribed to self-strangulation by means of an atypical item. The victim suffered from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) syndrome and was assisted by support teachers. He had a solitary and depressive personality. The exceptional nature of this case suggests that sphygmomanometers may be regarded as possible means of self-strangulation. The case also highlights the importance of managing patients with psychiatric or cognitive disorders; indeed, particular caution is required to keep them away from objects that, although apparently harmless, can become lethal.

Self-Strangulation Through A Sphygmomanometer: An Uncommon Suicide

LO PINTO, SARA;TACCHELLA, TIZIANA;FOSSATI, FRANCESCA CARLA;BONSIGNORE, ALESSANDRO;VENTURA, FRANCESCO
2017

Abstract

Suicide by asphyxia is quite a common event in forensic practice and may be implemented in different ways. The authors report a unique case of a 16-year-old youth who committed suicide by means of a standard mercury sphygmomanometer. This manner of suicide has never been described in the literature reviewed. A complete forensic investigation led to the conclusion that the cause of death was mechanical asphyxia, ascribed to self-strangulation by means of an atypical item. The victim suffered from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) syndrome and was assisted by support teachers. He had a solitary and depressive personality. The exceptional nature of this case suggests that sphygmomanometers may be regarded as possible means of self-strangulation. The case also highlights the importance of managing patients with psychiatric or cognitive disorders; indeed, particular caution is required to keep them away from objects that, although apparently harmless, can become lethal.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/862255
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