Death By Suffocation





Signs and Symptoms.--There are usually three stages:



1. Exaggerated respiratory activity; air hunger; anxiety; congested

appearance of face; ringing in ears.



2. Loss of consciousness; convulsions; relaxation of sphincters.



3. Respirations feeble and gasping, and soon cease; convulsions of

stretching character; heart continues to beat for three to four minutes

after breathing ceases.



Post-Mortem Appearances--External.--Cadaveric lividity well marked;

nose, lips, ears, finger-tips almost black in colour; appearance may be

placid or, if asphyxia has been sudden, the tongue may be protruded and

eyeballs prominent, with much bloody mucus escaping from mouth and nose.



Internal.--The blood is dark and remains fluid; great engorgement of

venous system, right side of heart, great veins of thorax and abdomen,

liver, spleen, etc. Lungs dark purple in colour; much bloody froth

escapes on squeezing them; mucous lining of trachea and bronchi

congested and bright red in colour; air-cells distended or ruptured;

many small hæmorrhages on surface of lungs and other organs, as well as

in their substance (Tardieu's spots), due to rupture of venous

capillaries from increased vascular pressure.





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