Hanging Injuries and Strangulation Clinical Presentation

Updated: Dec 03, 2018
  • Author: William S Ernoehazy, Jr, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Presentation

Complications

Complications include the following::

  • Respiratory complications: These are the major cause of delayed mortality in near-hanging victims. Both aspiration pneumonia and ARDS may develop, complicating the clinical course.

  • Tracheal stenosis

  • Neurologic sequelae: A wide array of complications may occur in survivors of strangulations and near-hangings, including muscle spasms, transient hemiplegia, central cord syndrome, and seizures. [13]  Spinal cord injury can also cause long-term paraplegia or quadriplegia and short-term autonomic dysfunction.

  • Scarring of neck tissue

  • Psychiatric disturbances: Psychosis, Korsakoff syndrome, amnesia, and progressive dementia all have been reported after surviving a hanging or strangulation. Nearly all patients who have undergone strangulation or near-hanging demonstrate restlessness and a propensity for violence.