One unusual, historical, form of asphyxia was crucifixion.37 The victim was typically nailed to a cross with nails driven through the wrists into the crossbar and through the feet into the upright post. Death was caused by shock, both hypovolemic and secondary to the pain of nailing, plus dehydration and asphyxia. The weight of the body on the outstretched arms would interfere with exhalation by maintaining the intercostal muscles in an inhalation state. Exhalation would then become primarily diaphragmatic. Over a prolonged time, this would lead to impaired respiration and asphyxia.
Was this article helpful?