Systematic analysis of nonfatal suicide attempts and further diagnostic of secondary injury in strangulation survivors: A retrospective cross-sectional study

Thorleif Etgen, Manuel Stigloher, Hans Förstl, Peter Zwanzger, Michael Rentrop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Aims: Data on nonfatal suicide attempts in Germany are sparse. The study aimed to analyze data on nonfatal suicide attempts and consecutive diagnostic steps to identify secondary injuries after strangulation. Methods: All admissions after nonfatal suicide attempt in a large Bavarian psychiatric hospital between 2014 and 2018 were reviewed and the methods were analyzed. Results: A total of 2125 verified cases out of 2801 registered cases of nonfatal suicide attempts were included in further analysis. The most common methods were intoxication (n = 1101, 51.8%), cutting (n = 461, 21.7%), and strangulation (n = 183, 8.6%). Among survivors of strangulation with external neck compression (n = 99, 54.1%), no diagnostic steps were performed in 36 (36.4%) patients and insufficient imaging in 13 (20.6%) patients. Carotid artery dissection was detected in two (4.0%) of 50 patients with adequate neuroimaging. Conclusions: This study provides details on nonfatal suicide attempts in Germany. Slightly more than half of the patients with strangulation underwent adequate diagnostic work-up, with 4.0% being diagnosed with dissection. Further studies with systematic screening for dissection after strangulation in psychiatric hospitals are recommended to reduce possible under-reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1572
JournalHealth Science Reports
Volume6
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • dissection
  • neuroimaging
  • nonfatal suicide attempt
  • strangulation
  • suicide

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