Suicidal self-stabbing: A report of 12 cases from Crete, Greece

Elena F Kranioti, Anastasia E Kastanaki, Despoina Nathena, Antonis Papadomanolakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sharp-force trauma is a popular cause of homicide and suicide in many countries. Characterisation of the injuries between the two is crucial for a differential diagnosis. The current paper reviews 12 self-inflicted sharp-force trauma deaths from the island of Crete in Greece. Forensic reports between 1999 and 2015 were collated, and we studied the number and location of injuries, the demographic characteristics of the deceased, the sharp object and the medical history of the deceased. One third of the cases where the forensic reports were available (3/10) involved multiple injuries, and one case involved a combination of stabbing and hanging. Most injuries involved a kitchen knife. Ninety-two per cent (11/12) of the victims involved male Greek nationals aged >50 years. The type and location of injuries were not found to be specific to suicide alone. Thus, death-scene investigation remains crucial to the differential diagnosis between suicide and homicide. This is the first report on self-inflicted sharp-force fatalities in Greece.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine, Science and the Law
Early online date13 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Suicides
  • sharp-force trauma
  • self-stabbing
  • knife
  • Greece
  • Crete

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