World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Livor mortis

Article Id: WHEBN0000166814
Reproduction Date:

Title: Livor mortis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Rigor mortis, Decomposition, Rachel Whitear dead.jpg, Putrefaction, Stages of death
Collection: Blood, Latin Medical Phrases, Medical Aspects of Death, Signs of Death
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Livor mortis

Stages of death

Pallor mortis
Algor mortis
Rigor mortis
Livor mortis

Livor mortis (Latin: livor—"bluish color," mortis—"of death"), postmortem lividity (Latin: postmortem—"after death", lividity—"black and blue"), hypostasis (Greek: hypo, meaning "under, beneath"; stasis, meaning "a standing"[1][2]) or suggillation, is one of the signs of death. Livor mortis is a settling of the blood in the lower (dependent) portion of the body, causing a purplish red discoloration of the skin. When the heart stops functioning and is no longer agitating the blood, heavy red blood cells sink through the serum by action of gravity.

Livor mortis starts in twenty minutes to thirty minutes. Then color becomes purplish red in next 1-3 hours. Size of patches increase in next 3-6 hours. Maximum lividity occurs within 6–12 hours. The blood pools into the interstitial tissues of the body. The intensity of the color depends upon the amount of reduced hemoglobin in the blood. The discoloration does not occur in the areas of the body that are in contact with the ground or another object, in which capillaries are compressed. As the vessel walls become permeable due to decomposition, blood leaks through them and stains the tissue. This is the reason for fixation of hypostasis.

Livor mortis in a corpse.

Coroners can use the presence or absence of livor mortis as a means of determining an approximate time of death. The presence of livor mortis is also an indication of when it would be futile to begin CPR, or when it would be ineffective to continue if it is in progress. It can also be used by forensic investigators to determine whether or not a body has been moved - for instance, if the body is found lying face down but the pooling is present on the deceased's back, investigators can conclude that the body was originally positioned face up.

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^
  • Calixto Machado, "Brain death: a reappraisal", Springer, 2007, ISBN 0-387-38975-X, p. 74
  • Robert G. Mayer, "Embalming: history, theory, and practice", McGraw-Hill Professional, 2005, ISBN 0-07-143950-1, pp. 106–109
  • Anthony J. Bertino "Forensic Science: Fundamentals and Investigations" South-Western Cengage Learning, 2008, ISBN 978-0-538-44586-3
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.