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Stage 1: Pallor Mortis

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 15

The first stage of decomposition “Pallor Mortis” translates to “paleness” [pallor] “of death” [mortis] and generally occurs 15-25 minutes after death. Postmortem paleness of the skin is usually seen more immediately in those who are anemic and/or have less melanin in their skin and therefore were more pale in life. Pallor Mortis is caused due to lack of capillary circulation within blood vessels which run throughout our bodies. The constant flow of blood through a living being gives the skin a good amount of its color and “lifelike” quality. During Pallor Mortis, blood stops its flow and begins to sink to lower […]

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Stage 4: Livor Mortis

October 1, 2015 rehadlock 11

The fourth stage of decomposition, Livor Mortis translates to “blueish color” [livor] “of death” [mortis] although it has many names including “hypostasis”, “suggillation”, “cadaveric lividity”, “darkening of death” and “postmortem staining”. Livor Mortis begins when circulation stops, blood vessels become more permeable due to decomposition, and blood settles throughout the corpse. Red blood cells, which are very dense, travel and pool in the lowest areas possible, staining the tissue. This means in a hanging death, discoloration would be seen in the feet, fingertips and ear lobes. Males who die from hanging may also acquire what’s known as a “Death Erection” (or “Angel Lust”) due […]

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Demystifying the Process of Dying

April 4, 2015 rehadlock 0

As an aging body approaches death and begins slowly shutting down, many changes occur which often frighten those experiencing and witnessing the final days of a human life for the first time. We tend to fear things we don’t understand and because death is considered a “taboo” subject, most people don’t share what they observed after witnessing their loved one pass on. Generally, a person’s first “lesson” in death isn’t received until they are at the side of a spouse or parent who is dying, or until they are dying themselves and do not know what to expect from their final hours. In a person’s last […]