Near-hanging injuries: A 10-year experience

Ali Salim, Matthew Martin, Burapat Sangthong, Carlos Brown, Peter Rhee, Demetrios Demetriades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the injury patterns and analyse outcomes in patients who present after near-hanging. Methods: This is a trauma registry study that included all patients who were admitted to an academic Level I trauma centre with the diagnosis of attempted suicide by hanging between January 1993 and December 2003. All patients who were dead on arrival or in cardiopulmonary arrest were excluded. Data regarding demographics, injuries, and outcomes were examined. Independent risk factors for poor outcome were identified. Results: During the 10-year study period, 63 patients were admitted after near-hanging. A total of 12 patients (19%) had 17 injuries. Cervical spine fractures occurred in nearly 5% of cases. Four factors were found to be significantly associated with poor outcome: systolic blood pressure <90, Glasgow coma score ≤8, anoxic brain injury on computed tomography (CT) scan, and injury severity score >15. However, logistic regression analysis found only anoxia on CT scan to be independently associated with poor outcome (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Injuries commonly occurred after near-hanging. Liberal screening using CT scans is warranted. The prognosis is favorable, even with patients who arrive with a GCS ≤8. Overall survival was 90% and only 3.5% were discharged with severe or permanent disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-439
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral anoxia
  • Cervical spine fracture
  • Hanging injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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