Student Reviews

Colleen Massey

5 star rating

“Extremely informative - learned a lot of things on Pathological! These classes are easy to understand and well done. Darren does a fabulous job on explaining! ”

“Extremely informative - learned a lot of things on Pathological! These classes are easy to understand and well done. Darren does a fabulous job on explaining! ”

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Constance Page

5 star rating

“Loved the course! Presentation was awesome!. Thank you!”

“Loved the course! Presentation was awesome!. Thank you!”

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Mark Leusink

5 star rating

“I've been in law enforcement for over 18 years and am the coroner for our county. I have a better understanding of asphyxial deaths after this course. ”

“I've been in law enforcement for over 18 years and am the coroner for our county. I have a better understanding of asphyxial deaths after this course. ”

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Course Fee

Course Summary

Who should take this course

  • Law Enforcement
  • Medicolegal Death Investigators
  • Coroners
  • Private Legal Investigators
  • Interested Students



1.5 hours of Missouri POST and ABMDI approved Continuing Education Credits

An asphyxial death refers to a multi-etiologic set of conditions in which there is inadequate delivery, uptake and/or utilization of oxygen by the body’s tissues/cells, often accompanied by carbon dioxide retention. This course will introduce the student to the four primary classifications of asphyxial deaths, which are; mechanical, inert-gas, environmental, and pathological.   The course will cover each classification and describe how the deaths occur and what investigators need to know to properly determine death due to asphyxial means.

A common form of suicidal asphyxia is caused by the use of inert-gas.  These deaths may also be accidental when located in an area compromised by a high level of gas.  An inert gas is a gas that has no toxic or anesthetic properties and does not act upon the heart or hemoglobin. Instead, the gas acts simply to reduce the oxygen concentration in the blood to dangerously low levels, thereby eventually depriving all cells in the body of oxygen.

Some common inert gases are;

  • Argon
  • Halon
  • Helium
  • Nitrogen
  • Methane

This course also covers the asphyxial death classification of environmental asphyxial death. Environmental Asphyxia is due to insufficient oxygen in the environment. Deaths are almost always accidental. An oxygen concentration of 16% or less is dangerous, and with 5% concentration, consciousness is lost rapidly and death occurs within a few minutes. Environmental asphyxia deaths are typed in four manners:

  1. Confined Space
  2. Positional
  3. Compression
  4. Entrapment or Engulfment

The final classification discussed in this course is pathological asphyxia. Pathological is dealing with or attributable to disease or medical condition.  These asphyxial deaths are caused by such things as anaphylaxis, pulmonary edema, and COPD.

This is an online video training and is designed to be interactive with students by random quizzes and a final exam. Student login time is tracked per student to verify the time spent in the course if needed.   Testing cannot be done until the videos are watched.  Many videos has a unique symbol or picture that will appear prominently in the video and is part of the test questions, this will ensure the video has been watched.  Certificates will only be available for print after the successful completion of the final exam and the course evaluation.

Each certificate will indicate that it was an online training and will note the post control number and the CLEE hours given.


Course curriculum

  • 01

    Course Introduction and Welcome

    • Course Integrity Notice

    • Course Integrity Acknowledgment

    • Welcome to your new course

    • Join the Private Facebook Community

  • 02

    Mechanical Asphyxiation Death

    • Defining Asphyxial Deaths and Classifications (2 Minutes)

    • Mechanical Asphyxiation - Hanging (15 minutes)

    • Ligature and Manual Strangulation (9 minutes)

    • Smothering, Gagging, Choking, and Drowning (6 minutes)

    • Quiz-Mechanical Asphyxiation

  • 03

    Environmental and Pathological

    • Inert Gas Asphyxiation (7 minutes)

    • Environmental Asphyxiation (11 minutes)

    • Pathological Asphyxiation (7 minutes)

    • Quiz-Environmental and Pathological

  • 04

    Request for Missouri Law Enforcement CLEE

    • Law Enforcement CLEE Request


  • I’m not currently in this field, can I still take the course?

    Yes. This course is open to students who are wanting to enter the field of death investigation as well as working professionals. It is our goal to help you prepare for the job you are wanting by providing nationally accepted training.

  • How long do I have access to the course?

    You will have access to the course material for six months. This, however, does not take into account natural disasters or a major interruption in business.

  • Do we get a certificate at the end?

    The course is an all-inclusive course. So, each student will receive a certificate at the end of all course work denoting credits and approval numbers along with the date of completion.

  • What if I want to talk to someone before I register?

    If you have other questions, please email us or call our academy directly at 1-888-556-0177.

  • What is your refund policy?

    The refund formula is as follows: Students may request a refund of an online course tuition prior to 30-days after purchase and if less than 50% of the course content has been accessed. Refunds are calculated based on the percentage of accessed content. For example, if 10% completed then a 90% refund will be issued, if 25% completed is 75% refund, and so on. *No refund will be given after 30 days or if completion is 50% or more* Multiple payments for the same course: In cases where the student made extra payment (same course bought multiple times) for the same course, a refund will be issued upon request. There will be a 3.7% transaction cost charged by credit card processor per transaction. All online training courses are tested extensively on all types of systems, browsers, and devices. We can assist you to get started with the course if you are having any trouble.


Darren Dake is a law enforcement professional with over 35 years of experience in criminal and medicolegal death investigations. Darren has worked in both the law enforcement realm of investigations as well as in the role of senior investigator with the Coroner’s office for 24 years, and now serves as the elected Coroner. This combined investigative experience has uniquely established Darren as an expert in investigations which allows him to consult and teach internationally on investigation practices and procedures.

Darren Dake, D-ABMDI, CI, CCI

Senior Instructor