Postmortem Changes

  1. What are four types of death
    1. cellular death

    2. clinical or somatic death

    3. legal death

    4. brain death
  2. What are four ways to determine death?
    1. observation

    2. auscultation

    3. palpation

    • 4. instrumentation
    • a. EKG
    • b. EEG
  3. What are the three changes in death
    1. Agonal Period

    2. Early Period

    3. Late Period
  4. Discuss the Agonal Period
    1. Perimortem interval

    2. actual dying process

    3. action possible

    4. animals/ insects may arrive
  5. Early Period
    1. breathing stops

    2. circulation stops (vital reaction)

    3. skin pallor

    4. muscle relaxation

    5. blood coagulation

    6. eye changes

    7. algor mortis (cooling)

    8. livor mortis (blood setting)

    9. rigor mortis (stiffening)
  6. What is algor mortis?
    cooling of body after death
  7. What is livor mortis?
    Postmortem hypostasis, lividity, or discoloration
  8. What are Tardieu Spots
    Rupture of small blood vessels due to pressure of settling blood

    common death by asphyxia

    artifact of decomposition
  9. How are Tardieu spots helpful during death investigation
    Tardieu spots help in determining the body was moved after death
  10. What is Autolysis?
    Autolysis is a postmortem tissue change which digestive enzymes break down protein, fat and carbs

    apart of the sterile process

    Autolysis decomposes during death
  11. What are the four stages of decomposition?
    1. fresh

    2. bloated

    3. decay

    4. dry
  12. Describe the decomposition stage of Fresh
    this stage begins at or around the time of death and continues until the onset of early bloating
  13. Describes the decomposition of Bloated
    Involves "inflation" of the body by gases produced by decomposition. This process affects the major body cavities, the organs and body walls.
  14. Describe the decomposition of Decay
    Begins with first "venting" of gas and fluid from the bloated body. Also involves crack formation in the skin, allowing air to enter, facilitating aerobic decay
  15. What is the process of decomposition?
    1. blue green skin discoloration

    2. spread of above

    3. marbling

    4. bloating
  16. What is mmification
    Drying of the body or its parts, occurs under hot and dry conditions in the absence of bacterial action
  17. Describes Adipocere?
    Cold, wet conditions promote saponification of fat in association with bacteria such as Clostridium welchii. Adipocere inhibits further putrefaction
  18. What is Skeletonization?
    Complete removal of skin and soft tissue; promoted by animals, insects and other environmental factors
Card Set
Postmortem Changes
medo death exam