Crush asphyxia occurs when a person suffocates as a result of thoracoabdominal compression. The brassiere sign can be seen in women who die in this manner.

General features of crush asphyxia:

(1) history of chest compression

(2) petechiae and congestion over face, neck and chest under close-fitting clothing


The brassiere sign refers to the relative absence of petechiae and congestion beneath a brassiere.


Its occurrence indicates that vascular engorgement is required for petechiae and congestion to develop.


In theory a similar change should occur beneath other elastic closures.

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