Post mortem cooling of the body and estimation of time since death

Institute of Forensic Medicine and Criminology, Falculty of Medicine, Skopje, Republica Makedonija.
Soudní lékarství / casopis Sekce soudního lékarstvi Cs. lékarské spolecnosti J. Ev. Purkyne 11/2007; 52(4):50-6.
Source: PubMed


Estimation of time since death in the field of forensic medicine expertise is an issue of high interest, especially in case of violent death caused by unknown executor. Post mortem cooling of the body is one of the pertinent parameters in estimation of time since death during the early postmortem period. Purpose of this paper is to analyze some of the existing methods, compare obtained results and determine which method gives more precise results of the estimation of time since death. This paper presents the analysis of 50 cases autopsied at the Institute of Forensic Medicine and Criminology in Skopje, with known time of death. Rectal temperature was taken with digital thermometer. Simultaneously, environment temperature was measured as well as the body weight; it was recorded whether the body was covered or naked. In order to estimate time since death following methods were applied: Method I, Method II, Al-Alousi and Anderson and Henssge- nomogram. Comparison of the known time of death with the time obtained by the applied methods has shown a discrepancy of few hours. Comparison of results obtained by application of the above stated methods has shown that the Henssge-nomogram gives less discrepancy from the true time of death.

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