Forensic Autopsy (DVSD) Flashcards


A post mortem examination performed on a corpse to determine the
cause and manor of death


To look at the dead


The cessation or end of life

Cause of death

The reason someone dies

Mechanism of death

Describes the scientific change in the body that brought about the
cessation of life


Infection of blood stream


Bleeding to death

Cerebral Contusion

Brain trauma

Intra-cerebral Contusion

Brain bleeding


Stop breathing

Pulmonary Arrest

the cessation of breathing due to failure of the lungs to function effectively.

Cardiac Arrest

a sudden, sometimes temporary, cessation of function of the heart.


the fact or process of ending or being brought to an end.

Deaths 5 categories

Natural Accident Homicide
Suicide Unknown

Natural Death

Death under normal circumstances

Accidental Death

A death that is often caused by mistake or in a freak occurrence.
These deaths are not planned yet can be explained by surrounding circumstances.

Homicidal Death

The killing of another person

Suicidal Death

The act of ending ones own life


Killing of an infant


Killing of ones brother; in a military context, killing of a friendly combatant


Killing of ones sister


Killing of ones parents


Killing of ones father


Killing of ones mother


Killing of ones wife


Killing of ones spouse


Killing of ones child


Killing of a monarch


Killing of a national,ethnic,racial, or religious group

Livor Mortis

Death coloration

Rigor Mortis

Muscle stiffness

Algor Mortis

Body temperature

Factors that determine the time of death

Livor Mortis Rigor Mortis Algor Mortis
Stomach and intestinal contents Insects Eye


Pooling of blood

The body is most rigid after

12 hours

Stiffness disappears after how many hours?

Generally 36 but dependent on weight and ambient temperature can last
up to 48 hours

What is the average body temperature

98.6 degrees F and 37 degrees Celsius

The body is warm to the touch up until how many hours after death?

3 hours

The body is cool to the touch around how many hours?

4-6 hours

The body is the temperature of its environment after how many hours?

24 hours

Rule of thumb

Heat loss = 1 degree F per hour

How many hours does it take for the stomach to empty its contents
into the small intestine?

4-6 hours for the contents to travel

How many hours does it take for food to leave the small intestine?

12 hours for the contents to leave

How many hours approximately does it take for all undigested food to
be released from the large intestine starting from the time when a
meal is eaten?

24 hours until contents are leave

3 hours after death the eyes become...

Softer as a result of less fluid pressure

Petechial Hemorrhages

The formation of tiny red dots on the eye's upper white part and the
inside of the eyelid.