Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/96513
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Type: Journal article
Title: Autopsy reenactment - A useful technique in the evaluation of adhesive tape asphyxia
Author: Herbst, J.
Stanley, W.
Byard, R.
Citation: Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2014; 59(3):841-843
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0022-1198
1556-4029
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Jonathon Herbst, Wayne Stanley, and Roger W. Byard
Abstract: A 19-year-old woman was found dead with her face and head wrapped in plastic adhesive tape in a cupboard beside an opened helium cylinder. Despite the alleged presence of a suicide message on a social networking website, the unusual circumstances raised the possibility at the time of autopsy of either accidental death from sexual asphyxia or homicide. A carefully monitored reenactment demonstrated, however, that the type of commercial adhesive tape that had been used did not cause complete airway obstruction and that it was possible to wrap a considerable length of tape around the head and neck with the breath held. All of the features at autopsy were, therefore, compatible with self-infliction. Asphyxial death was attributed to the combined effects of smothering from tape and anoxia from helium, an extremely rare combination in young females.
Keywords: Forensic science; asphyxia; adhesive tape; plastic; helium; autoerotic death; homicide
Rights: © 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
RMID: 0030010787
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.12378
Appears in Collections:Medical Sciences publications

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