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Forensic Medicine

Rigor Mortis

Rigor mortis, also known as death stiffening or cadaveric rigidity, is a state of stiffening of muscles, sometimes with slight shortening of the fibers. Individual cell death takes place in this stage. Mechanism of Rigor Mortis Rigor mortis is a physico-chemical change that occurs within muscles. A voluntary muscle consists …

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Finding the cause of death

Finding the Cause of death – The cause of death is the disease or injury responsible for starting the sequence of events, which are brief or prolonged and which produce death. It may be divided into: IMMEDIATE CAUSE, i.e., at the time of terminal event, e.g., bronchopneumonia, peritonitis, trauma, etc. …

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Sudden death

Sudden death – Death is said to be sudden or unexpected when a person not known to have been suffering from any dangerous disease, injury or poisoning is found dead or dies within 24 hours after the onset of terminal illness (WHO). Some authors limit sudden death as those occurring instantaneously …

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Exhumation

Exhumation is the digging out of an already buried body from the grave. There is no time limit for exhumation in India. Autopsies are performed on exhumed bodies in two cases: In criminal cases, such as homicide, suspected homicide disguised as suicide or other types of death, suspicious poisoning, death …

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Collection of blood

Collection of blood – The cellular barrier of mucous and serous membranes breakdown after death, due to which substances in the stomach and intestine can migrate to the organs in the thorax and abdomen, causing false rise in the blood level. Before autopsy, 10 to 20 ml of blood can be …

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Viscera preservation in forensics

Viscera should be preserved if death is suspected to be due to poisoning either by the police or the doctor, Deceased was intoxicated or used to drugs, Cause of death not found after autopsy, Death due to burns, Advanced decomposition and Accidental death involving driver of a vehicle or machine operator. The following must be …

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