Signs of Death


Terms in this set (...)

The most certain sign that a person has died is generalized this. Final post-mortem change.
Other Signs of death
Cessation of circulation, cessation of respiration, complete muscular relaxation, algor mortis, rigor mortis, livor mortis, changes of the eye.
Algor Mortis
Post-mortem cooling. The body temp cools to that of the environment.
Rigor Mortis
Post-Mortem stiffening of body muscles.
Livor Mortis
(Cadaveric Lividity) The postmortem, intravascular, red-blue discoloration that results from the hypostasis of blood. AKA: when the heart stops beating, the blood settles to dependant regions.
Clouding of the cornea
Changes of the eye: The transparent window of the eye begins to cloud quickly after death.
Loss of luster of the conjunctiva
Changes of the eye: The conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that covers the surface of the front of the eyeball and also lines both the upper and lower lids.
Other Changes of the eye
Flattening of the eyeball, pupil dilation with no response to light.
Early Signs of Death
1. Cessation of respiration/circulation 2. Pallor of the skin 3. Muscular Flaccidity 4. Contact flattening and pallor of the tissues in contact with an object.
Eye changes
1. Clouding of cornea 2. Loss of luster of conjunctiva 3. Flattening of the eyeball 4. Pupil dilation and no muscular response to light.
Later signs of Death
1. Postmortem Lividity 2. Rigor/Algor Mortis 3. Decomp
Tests for Death
Any procedure used to prove a sign of death.
A delicate instrument used for detecting the nearly inaudible sounds of circulation and/or respiration.
An optical instrument with an accompanying light, which makes it possible to examine the retina of the eye to detect blood circulation and to test the ciliary muscle for the response of the pupil to light.
EEG: A recording made by an encephalograph that displays the wave patterns of brain activity. Invented in 1929 by Berger.
EKG: A recording made by an electrocardiogram in response to the electrical activity of the heart. Invented in 1903 by Einthoven.
Auditory Brain Stem Response
ABR: Measures activity in the brain stem, an area that controls heart and respiratory functions.
Ligature Test
Inexpert test for death-
Ligate a finger, if it becomes discolored and swells, circulation and therefore life is present.
Ammonia Injection Test
Ammonia injected hypodermically will show a reddish reaction if the body is alive.