chapter  4
6 Pages

Postmortem Changes

The ME/coroner is responsible for establishing the time of death or injury. Changes in body temperature, stiffness of the body, or color changes at the time of the scene investigation can help establish the time a person died. Terminology frequently used to describe signs of death tends to range greatly. The use of standardized descriptive terms will help to clarify observations about the appearance of the body. This chapter discusses frequently used terms that describe postmortem changes and factors that help establish time of death or injury.