This entry level course will introduce the student to the four primary classifications of asphyxial deaths, which are; mechanical, inert-gas, environmental, and pathological.   The course will cover each classification and describe how  death occurs and what investigators need to know to properly determine cause and manner of  death due to asphyxial means.


This course is approved for continuing education credits by Missouri POST, American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) and the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute  (ACFEI)

Graphic Warning

This course does contain photographs and videos depicting actual death due to asphyxial means.


asphixial-death-350x350Course Summary

An asphyxial death refers to a multi-etiologic set of conditions in which there is inadequate delivery, uptake and/or utilization of oxygen by the body’s tissues/cells, often accompanied by carbon dioxide retention. This course will introduce the student to the four primary classifications of asphyxial deaths, which are; mechanical, inert-gas, environmental, and pathological.   The course will cover each classification and describe how the deaths occur and what investigators need to know to properly determine  death due to asphyxial means.

A common form of suicidal asphyxia is caused from the use of inert-gas.  These deaths may also be accidental when located in an area compromised by a high level of gas.  An inert-gas is a gas which has no toxic or anesthetic properties and does not act upon the heart or hemoglobin. Instead, the gas acts simply to reduce oxygen concentration in  blood to dangerously low levels, thereby eventually depriving all cells in the body of oxygen.

Some common inert gases are;

  • Argon
  • Halon
  • Helium
  • Nitrogen
  • Methane

This course also covers the asphyxial death classification of environmental asphyxial death. Environmental Asphyxia is due to insufficient oxygen in the environment. Deaths are almost always accidental. An oxygen concentration of 16% or less is dangerous, and with 5% concentration, consciousness is lost rapidly and death occurs within a few minutes. Environmental asphyxia deaths are typed in four manners:

  1. Confined Space
  2. Positional
  3. Compression
  4. Entrapment or Engulfment

The final classification discussed in this course is pathological asphyxia. Pathological is dealing with or attributable  a disease or medical condition.  These asphyxial deaths are caused from such things as anaphylaxis, pulmonary edema, and COPD.

This is an online video training and is designed to be interactive with students by random quizzes and final exam. Student login  time is tracked per student to verify time spent in the course if needed.   Testing cannot be done until videos are watched.  Each video has a unique symbol or picture that will appear prominently during the video and is part of the test questions, this will insure the video has been watched.  Certificates will only be available for print after success completion of the final exam and the course evaluation.

Each certificate will indicate that it was an online training and will note the post control number and the CLEE hours given..

This course  contains 7 videos totaling 50 minutes of lecture, two quizzes, and additional reading.


Course Objectives

After completing this 1.5 hour  computer based training, the student will be better able to:

  1. Define Asphyxia Death
  2. List the 4 primary classifications of asphyxial death
  3. List the 7 types of mechanical asphyxia death
  4. Explain the difference between ligature and manual strangulation
  5. Define ‘inert-gas’ asphyxia
  6. List the four classifications of environmental asphyxial death
  7. Define pathological asphyxiation

 

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