Restraint asphyxiation in excited delirium

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1993 Dec;14(4):289-95. doi: 10.1097/00000433-199312000-00004.


Eleven cases of sudden death of men restrained in a prone position by police officers are reported. Nine of the men were hogtied, one was tied to a hospital gurney, and one was manually held prone. All subjects were in an excited delirious state when restrained. Three were psychotic, whereas the others were acutely delirious from drugs (six from cocaine, one from methamphetamine, and one from LSD). Two were shocked with stun guns shortly before death. The literature is reviewed and mechanisms of death are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / complications
  • Asphyxia / etiology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / complications
  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Delirium / complications*
  • Delirium / etiology
  • Forensic Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Police
  • Restraint, Physical / adverse effects*
  • Restraint, Physical / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Schizophrenia / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications