The course of respiration and circulation in death due to plastic-bag suffocation

N. Ikeda, H. Takahashi, K. Umetsu, T. Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the course of respiration and circulation during the agonal period of death due to plastic-bag suffocation, 20 dogs were made to breathe air from a one liter polyethylene bag connected to an endotracheal tube. Intrathoracic pressure, blood pressure in the femoral artery, electrocardiogram and electroencephalogram were registered. The respiratory movement did not change for 1-2 min. Then the dyspnea stage of 3-4 min occurred, which was followed by apnea. Terminal respiration occurred with circulatory breakdown in 3-4 min after the dyspnea stage. Somatic activity or convulsions did not occur in any animal and terminal respiration could not be seen in several animals. These findings suggested a narcotic effect of accumulated carbon dioxide in the rebreathed air. Owing to this narcotic effect of carbon dioxide associated with prolonged asphyxia, plastic-bag suffocation seems to be abused for an auto-erotic purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalYamagata Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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