Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Unintentional strangulation by a cervical collar after attempted suicide by hanging
  1. Malcolm Lemyze1,
  2. Aurore Palud2,
  3. Raphael Favory2,
  4. Daniel Mathieu2
  1. 1Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Schaffner Hospital, Lens, France
  2. 2Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Calmette Hospital, Lille II University Hospital, Lille, France
  1. Correspondence toDr Malcolm Lemyze, Service de Réanimation Médicale, 99 route de la Bassée, 62300 Lens, France; malcolmlemyze{at}


We report the case of a young man who attempted suicide by hanging and whose neurological status deteriorated until the cervical collar, that had been correctly placed by the prehospital team, was removed. We discuss the physiopathological mechanisms leading to death in hanging that is, a blockage of the blood stream to the brain leading to vasogenic and cytotoxic cerebral edema rather than asphyxia or spinal fracture. Our case supports the early removal of neck stabilization devices that can dangerously harm the patient after an attempted suicide by hanging, by increasing intracerebral pressure.

  • Intensive care
  • mental health
  • self harm
  • poisoning
  • deliberate self
  • trauma
  • head

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.