Reliability of postmortem lividity as an indicator of time since death in cold stored bodies

Vrinda J. Bhat, Palimar Vikram, G. Pradeep Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Determining the time since death is one of the most important aspects of postmortem examination. It is necessary for the forensic expert to estimate the time since death with high degree of accuracy, as subsequent investigation will be based on this estimate. It is evaluated with the help of the evidence, either on or around the body. Cooling of the body, postmortem lividity, rigor mortis and putrefactive changes are certain criteria by which time since death can be estimated from the body. A study was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal to determine the reliability of time since death with the help of postmortem lividity in cold stored bodies. 633 medico-legal autopsies conducted on the hospital deaths in the period of 2001-2004 were included in the study, of which postmortem lividity was appreciated only in 417 cases. The exact time of death and the duration of preservation in cold chamber were known in all the cases. The effect of cold temperature on the time of appearance and fixation of postmortem lividity was studied and correlated with the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-145
Number of pages3
JournalMedico-Legal Update
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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