2. Activation of the pressure sensor located at this point results in restriction of cardiac output and lowering of blood pressure. This further reduces the blood supply and essential oxygen to the brain.
3. Pressure on the vagus nerve can further restrict blood flow to the brain by having a direct effect on the cardiac pacemaker that controls one’s heart rate.
4. Pressure in this region also restricts blood returning from the brain through the jugular veins. A reduction in returning blood to the heart, leads to a corresponding decrease in cardiac output, further reducing the brain’s oxygen supply.
There is some debate about which of these compounding mechanisms is most important, but the effect is the same. With inadequate cerebral blood flow, there is a rapid loss of consciousness within seconds and, if maintained, a peaceful death will occur. The exact time will depend on the reduction in cardiac output and the degree of carotid occlusion. Clearly, with asystole, death will take only a few minutes.
Note: This technique produces no restriction of airflow into the lungs (no sensation of strangulation). The trachea requires a much greater pressure to restrict air flow. Strangulation, where airflow to the lungs is restricted, also results in death through cerebral hypoxia. This process is much slower as the oxygen reserves in the lungs need to be exhausted. This is NOT a peaceful death.
There have been a number of strategies used to bring about death by carotid occlusion. These include rope nooses that tighten by applying body weight (partial hanging or ‘partial’ as it is often called). The goal here is to constrict the neck sufficiently to ‘occlude’ the carotid arteries, but not to apply so great a pressure as to compress the trachea/ windpipe. This is achievable.