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Changes After Death
Changes After Death. Dr. Raid Jastania. Changes After Death. Decomposition Why do we need to know: Not to misinterpret these changes Help to determine time (place) of death. Early Changes. No breathing, no circulation Fall in blood pressure Metabolism gradually stops
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Changes After Death
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Changes After Death
Dr. Raid Jastania
Changes After Death Decomposition Why do we need to know: Not to misinterpret these changes Help to determine time (place) of death Early Changes No breathing, no circulation Fall in blood pressure Metabolism gradually stops Loss of neoronal activity No reflexes, no corneal reflex, fixed dilated pupils, eye looses the tension Early Changes Primary Flaccidity: complete loss of tone Muscle may be still reactive for hours (focal twitching) Pale skin and conjunctiva Face may remain blue/red ?? Hair continues to grow Loss of sphincter action: pass urine, semen, regurgitation of food Rigor Mortis Lack of oxygen – no energy – no ATP – glycolysis – lactic acid – acidic cytoplasm – actin and myocin bind “Stiff Muscle” Factors affects Rigor Mortis: Level of glycogen Level of lactic acid Body built Temperature, weather Rigor Mortis What is Rigor mortis like if death occurs after exercise, electric shock, in infant, in elderly In summer In winter Rigor Mortis Starts in small muscle around eyes and mouth, jaw, fingers, Then spreads from head to legs Estimated time of death: In face: 1-4 hours Limbs: 4-6 hours Increase in strength for the next 6-12 hours Decomposition starts Secondary flaccidity from 24-50 hours Rigor Mortis Body feels warm & Flaccid: <3 hours Body feels warm & Stiff: 3-8 hours Body feels cold & stiff: 8-36 hours Body feels cold & flaccid: > 36 hours Cadaveric Rigidity Forensic rarity Stiffness of muscle occurring immediately at time of death Finding items in hands ?emotional/physical stress at death Post Mortem Hypostasis (Lividity) No circulation, relaxation of blood vessels Blood moves to dependent area Positioning of body: supine, prone, on side, on head, hanging Pink-blue color of the dependent area May not be apparent in infants, elderly, anemic Difficult to see in dark skin, jaundice Post Mortem Hypostasis (Lividity) Blanching: Around face (not asphyxia) Color: Pink – deep pink – blue – purple Cheery pink: in carbon monoxide poisoning Dark red: in cyanide poisoning In hypothermia: pink around large joints Movement of body and change in lividity! Cooling of the body after Death Physical property Assumptions: Temperature was 37 at the time of death Thermally static environment Cooling of the body after Death Variables: Mass of body Surface area Body temperature at death Site of reading Posture Clothing Environment temperature Winds, humidity, rain Estimation of the time of Death Body temperature Rectal, ears, nose, liver Henssge’s Nomogram Body temperature Ambient temperature Body weight Other methods Gastric contents Entomologist Anthropologist Putrefaction The most common route of decomposition Liquifaction of the soft tissue over time The warmer the temperature, the earlier the process Putrefaction Visible 3-4 days Green discoloration in the right iliac fossa Marbling of skin: linear branching ptterns of brown discoloration of skin Blistering, skin sloughs off Gas formation, swelling of body: face, abdomen, breast, genitalia Putrefaction Increase internal pressure, protrusion of tongue, eyes, Bloody fluids Within a week: body cavity will burst Tissue liquify Mummification Dry condition, eg. Dessert Drying and leathery body Part or whole body Adipocere Wet condition, water Chemical change of body fat to waxy compound material Pale, greasy semi fluid material, unpleasant smell Firm waxy compound material: takes weeks to months to form Skeletalization More quickly to occur on the surface than in burried body Soft tissue will be absent by 2 years Tendon, ligaments, hair nails may remain By 5 years bone disarticulate Identification Living: coma, amnesia, infancy, mental defect Decomposed body Following injury Mass disasters
Hair color, length
Tatoo, surgical scars
General Morphologic Features Fingerprint Chance of identical finger print is: 1 in 64 million Identical twins Teeth Identification of person Age Bite marks Identification of origin of tissue Why: Blood, semen, saliva.. Come from suspect for victem Match of human remains Resolve paternity/maternity Identification of origin of tissue DNA profiling: Matching Paternity, maternity Sampling: Nucleated cells: wbc, hair root bulb cells, sperms, buccal smear.. Identification of origin of tissue Human Remains Are they human Is it one or more bodies Sex: skull, pelvis Age Up to 20-25 years, age can be estimated within couple of years >25 years more difficult to estimate