Clinical scenario and question: 30 year old male arrives by EMS with a C-collar after trying to hang himself. Ligature marks are seen around his neck. He is currently awake and talking with a hoarse voice, roommate that found him reports an episode of cyanosis and loss of consciousness. What injuries should I be concerned about for this patient after a nonfatal hanging?
This patient is considered a NONjudicial hanging.
- Hyoid bone fracture
- Cricoid or thyroid cartilage injury
- Airway edema
- Cervical spine injury (hangman’s fracture)
- Spinal cord injury
- Hypoxic cerebral injury
- Vascular injury (dissection/thrombosis)
- Late findings include:
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Neurogenic pulmonary edema (from hypoxic cerebral injury)
- Post-obstructive pulmonary edema
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