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Indian Journal of Forensic and Community Medicine

An autopsy review of 78 cases of suicide by hanging in benin

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Research Article

Author Details : Cedric E. Bigot*, Jean Marie Adovoekpe, Falilatou Seidou, Luc Brun, Fabien Houngbe

Volume : 6, Issue : 3, Year : 2019

Article Page : 121-124

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Introduction: Hanging is one of the most common methods of suicide. It can also be used to conceal a crime. Thus, it is important to systematically have a forensic autopsy performed in cases of hanging. Only that examination can determine the actual forensic form of the death. At the national level, there is no epidemiological data on suicide by hanging in Benin.
Aims: This study aims to describe the epidemiological and forensic features observed in the cases of suicide by hanging in Benin.
Material and Methods: This is a descriptive and retrospective study of all the suicidal deaths by hanging collated in the Forensic & Legal Medicine Unit of the Faculty of Health Sciences (UML_FSS) for a period of 12 years, 2005–2017, in Benin.
Result: Suicides by hanging accounted for 8.3% of the cases of suspicious deaths autopsied in the south and center of Benin. Males represented 85.9% of the corpses, and most individuals were under 40 years old (62.0%). Hangings were complete in 65.4% of the cases. The material used most often for hanging (28.7% of cases) was nylon rope. Subcutaneous hemorrhages (46.2%) and ecchymosis in the sterno-cleido-mastoid muscles (61.3%) were the most common finding at the neck dissection.
Conclusion: Hanging is a common method of suicide, especially among young men. In Benin, it occurs behind closed doors and by means of tools used in everyday life. Forensic autopsies, however, remain infrequent in cases of suicides.

Keywords: Hanging, Suicide, Autopsy, Benin.

Doi : 10.18231/j.ijfcm.2019.028

How to cite : Bigot C E, Adovoekpe J M, Seidou F, Brun L, Houngbe F, An autopsy review of 78 cases of suicide by hanging in benin. Indian J Forensic Community Med 2019;6(3):121-124

Copyright © 2019 by author(s) and Indian J Forensic Community Med. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) (