Accidental death is usually caused by one of three ways:
- Coma (failure of brain)
- Syncope (failure of heart)
- Asphyxia (failure of lungs)
Usually caused on one of four ways:
- Depressed fracture of the skull, compressing the brain. In homicide, this is usually caused by a direct head injury by bludgeoning by a blunt implement, or in car accidents.
- Some poisons
- Some narcotic and hypnotic drugs
- Medical conditions such as cerebral haemorrhage and brain tumour. Also some diseases poison the brain as a by-product
- Natural heart failure caused by several degenerative diseases. Can be exacerbated by shock.
- Some poisons
- Direct injury to heart
Anoxia means “lack of oxygen”. Is it the main cause of death in homicide. There are four main types.
- Anoxic Anoxia (Asphyxia) This also also called “manual anoxia”. It is caused by:
- Breathing air that doesn’t have enough oxygen
- Obstruction of oxygen supply by air passages being blocked or swollen
- Pressure on chest or abdomen preventing breathing
- Paralysis of repiratory system by electric shock or some poisons.
- Anaemic Anoxia
- Insuffient supply of oxygen to the body due to blood loss or obstruction of the arteries. This is what happens when you bleed to death.
- Obstruction of the supply of oxygen in the blood, as in carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Histotoxic Anoxia Some poisons, eg cyanide, paralyze the body tissues preventing them from using oxygen.
- Stagnant Anoxia Where the blood circulation is stopped, such as with a shock, heart failure or an embolism.