Pressure on the thorax associated with a large crowd can result in asphyxiation.


Situations where this may occur include a person:

(1) surrounded by a large group of people who are all pressing in on the victim.

(2) at the bottom of a pile of people.


The person is unable due to breathe due to compressive forces on the thorax which makes ventilation impossible so the person suffocates.


A similar mechanism is seen with the boa constrictor, entrapment in a confined space or falling into a grain silo.


The diagnosis should be suspected when a person is found dead or hypoxic with no other explanation other than being trapped in a crowd.


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