The Livor mortis

The Livor mortis

“Livor mortis” refers to the postmortem phenomenon commonly known as lividity or hypostasis. It’s a natural process that occurs after death as a result of gravity. Here’s how it works:

After death, when the heart stops pumping, blood begins to settle in the lowest parts of the body under the influence of gravity. This results in discoloration of the skin in those areas due to the pooling of blood. The areas where livor mortis is most prominent are typically the parts of the body that are in direct contact with the ground or a flat surface when the body is lying down.

The discoloration appears as a reddish-purple or bluish color and becomes more pronounced over time, usually reaching its peak within 6 to 12 hours after death. The process of livor mortis is one of the criteria forensic pathologists and investigators use to estimate the time of death and the position of the body after death.

It’s important to note that livor mortis is not permanent and can be altered or obscured by factors such as movement of the body after death, pressure on the skin from clothing or other objects, or changes in body position. Additionally, livor mortis is just one of several postmortem changes that occur in the body after death, alongside rigor mortis (stiffening of muscles) and algor mortis (cooling of the body).