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Suicidal Smothering by Rubber Latex Gloves and Handkerchief

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Asphyxial deaths are common in forensic practice, being sustained by a variety of mechanisms that cause an oxygen deficiency to the brain. Several classification models have been proposed in the literature, the most recent one being that of the International Network for Forensic Research Group (INFOR). This report describes an unusual case of suffocation where the obstruction of the airways was caused by a gag formed of three latex gloves and a handkerchief. The manner of death (differential diagnosis between homicide and suicide) and the different alternatives of classification are discussed.
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Keywords: asphyxia; classification; differential diagnosis; forensic pathology; forensic science; smothering; suffocation; suicide

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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