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Positional Asphyxia after Falling to Backward in a Drunken State

대한법의학회지 2019년 43권 3호 p.115 ~ 117
 ( Choi Jin-Hyuk ) - Korea University College of Medicine Department of Legal Medicine

 ( Ha Hong-Il ) - National Forensic Service Seoul Institute Division of Forensic Investigation


The deceased was found in the basement staircase of a commercial building. He was drunk the night before his death. He went into the building at 00:45 am as per the security camera recording. He was found at 9:10 am in an inverted and jackknife position causing the hyperflexion of his torso and neck. Autopsy findings revealed facial congestion and conjunctival petechiae. No evidence of critical trauma was noted. Therefore, he can be diagnosed with positional asphyxia. He must have lost his body balance and fallen on his back while climbing up the basement staircase for unknown reasons. His lower body was found to be in the jackknife position due to inertia. The drunken state and the accident prevented movement and this position was sustained for an extended period.


Asphyxia; Accidental falls; Autopsy
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