Hanging is one of the topics that comes up every now and then on an exam and infrequently into the emergency department.
What are the key points?
2 Types of Hangings
- Suspension: rope tied around the neck and the person suspended so that the ligatures tighten. These are the most common forms of hanging presentation into the emergency department.
- Drop: The body is dropped from a distance with the aim of causing cervical spine fracture and spinal cord injury. This is an example of judicial hanging.
What are the injuries that occur?
- Cervical Injuries
- In < 1%
- Hangman fractures occur if the drop is greater than the patients height
- Vascular Injuries
- Venous obstruction initially then arterial obstruction
- Venous cerebral infarction
- Other fractures
- Thyroid/Cricoid cartilage
- Aspiration causing ARDS