Socio-demographic factors in mechanical asphyxial deaths in Thane region, Maharashtra, India

Mangesh R. Ghadge, Dinesh R. Samel, D. V. Kulkarni, Rajeshwar Pate


Background: This study was done to analyze the various socio-demographic variables of the subjects who died of Mechanical Asphyxia and had undergone post mortem examination, over the last 10 years, at the FMT Department of Rajiv Gandhi Medical College and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Thane, Maharashtra, India.

Methods: After IEC approval, a descriptive, complete enumeration study of recorded data from PM register from 1st January 2006 to 31st December 2015 (n=5128) was carried. Of these, deaths due to mechanical asphyxial causes were segregated and analyzed.

Results: Of the total 654 autopsies conducted from mechanical asphyxial deaths in the last 10 years, majority (248, 37.9%) were in age group 21 30 years. Of the different types of mechanical asphyxial deaths, maximum were cases of hanging (409, 62.5%), followed by drowning (204, 31.2%), Suffocation (32, 4.9%) and strangulation (9, 1.4%).

Conclusions: Drowning and hanging were common in males whereas strangulation was common in females. A high proportion of subjects who died due to drowning were less than 10 years old (21.6%). We did not find any role of religion as a factor in asphyxial death.



Mechanical asphyxial deaths, Violent death, Strangulation, Hanging, Drowning, Suffocation

Full Text:



Reddy NKS. Ch 13. Mechanical Asphyxia, from Textbook ‘The essentials of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology’, 29th Edition, K Saguna Devi Publishers, Hyderabad. 2010:302,

Ghosh P. A watery grave: why so many people die by drowning in India, International Bussiness Times, 18.11.2013 downloaded from site watery-grave-why-do-somany-people-die-drowning-india-1474040

Chaurasia N, Pandey SK, Mishra A. An Epidemiological Study of Violent Asphyxial Death in Varanasi Region (India) a Killing Tool, J Forensic Res. 2012;3:174.

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

Bansude ME, Kachare RV, Dode CR. Trends of Violent Asphyxial deaths in southern Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. 2014;7(2):273-5.

Bansude ME, Kachare RV, Dode CR, Kumre VM, Trends of unnatural deaths in Latur District of Maharashtra, Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science and Law. 2012;21(2).

Sharma BR, Harish D, Sharma A, Sharma S, Singh HInjuries to neck structures in deaths due to constriction of neck, with a special reference to hanging. J Forensic Leg Med. 2008;15(5):298-305.

Bhagora LR, Parmar AP, Patel TC. Recent trends of Asphyxial Death in Bhavnagar Region Love R. Int J Res Med. 2015;4(1);109-12.

Azmak D. Asphyxial deaths: a retrospective study and review of the literature. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2006;27(2):134-44.

Samanta Ak, Nayak SR, Newer trends in Hanging Deaths, J Indian Acad Forensic Medicine. Jan-Mar 2012;34(1):37-9.

Ambade VN, Kolpe D, Tumram N, Meshram S, Pawar M, Kukde H. Characteristic Features of Hanging: A Study in Rural District of Central India. J Forensic Sci. 2015;60(5):1216-23.

State-wise profile of accidentals by unnatural causes during 2014. Ministry of Home affairs, Retrieved from web site; cataog/ stateut-wise-profile-accidents-unnatural -causes. Accessed on 27/6/2016

Singh A, Gorea GK, Dalal JS. Study of Demographic variables of violent asphyxial deaths, JPAFMAT. 2003:3.

Byard RW, Austin AE, van den Heuvel C. Characteristics of asphyxial deaths in adolescence. J Forensic Leg Med. 2011;18(3):107-9.

Byard RW, Jensen LL. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. Fatal asphyxial episodes in the very young: classification and diagnostic issues. 2007;3(3):177-81.