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  1. (pathology) A condition in which an extreme decrease in the concentration of oxygen in the body accompanied by an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide leads to loss of consciousness or death. Asphyxia can be induced by choking, drowning, electric shock, injury, or the inhalation of non-toxic (or toxic) gases.
    Etymology: New Latin, from Greek asphuxi, stopping of the pulse : a-, not; see a-1 + sphuxis, heartbeat (from sphuzein, sphug-, to throb).

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