FAQ - Rigor Mortis
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what is a rigor mortis and why does it occur?

Rigor mortis is the stiffening of the muscles of the body after death. It happens because the muscles partially contract but cannot relax and so the joints become fixed in place.  (+ info)

what are the different stages of rigor mortis?

Moment of Death:
1} The heart stops
2} The skin gets tight and grey in color
3} All the muscles relax
4} The bladder and bowels empty
5} The body's temperature will typically drop 1.5 degrees F. per hour unless outside environment is a factor.
After 30 minutes:
6} The skin gets purple and waxy
7} The lips, finger- and toe nails fade to a pale color or turn white as the blood leaves.
8} Blood pools at the lowest parts of the body leaving a dark purple-black stain called lividity
9} The hands and feet turn blue
10} The eyes start to sink into the skull
After 4 hours:
11} Rigor mortis starts to set in
12} The purpling of the skin and pooling of blood continue
13} Rigor Mortis begins to tighten the muscles for about another 24 hours, then will reverse and the body will return to a limp state.
After 12 hours:
14} The body is in full rigor mortis.
After 24 hours:
15} The body is now the temperature of the surrounding environment
16} In males, the semen dies
17} The head and neck are now a greenish-blue color
18} The greenish-blue color continues to spread to the rest of the body
19} There is the strong smell of rotting meat
20} The face of the person is essentially no longer recognizable
After 3 days:
21} The gases in the body tissues form large blisters on the skin
22} The whole body begins to bloat and swell grotesquely. This process is speeded up if victim is in a hot environment, or in water
23} Fluids leak from the mouth, nose, eyes, ears and rectum and urinary opening
After 3 weeks:
24} The skin, hair, and nails are so loose they can be easily pulled off the corpse
25} The skin cracks and bursts open in many places because of the pressure of Internal gases and the breakdown of the skin itself
26} Decomposition will continue until body is nothing but skeletal remains, which can take as little as a month in hot climates and two months in cold climates. The teeth are often the only thing left, years and centuries later.

  (+ info)

can Rigor mortis only happen once ur dead or even if ur alive?

just wandering
nvm i found the answer

"Mortis" = of death so there's the answer  (+ info)

how can a person be in rigor mortis and still be bleeding profusely from the nose?

my friend bled to death, and was still bleeding PROFUSELY when i found him....i have never seen so much blood in my life, and it was fresh and red. noone seems to know how this happened. he was on blood thinners and inhalers which cause nosebleeds, among other things....
death report falsified, blood not mentioned, no autopsy, cremated. i would like to find out what this meant.
thank you. this is absolutely not a joke or fake question.

"Still bleeding"? Did you see pulsatile flow of blood ejected from the body? Or did you observe an ooze of brighter blood on top of a darker layer? The former is what we might call arterial bleeding or active bleeding and it is a sign that there is still cardiac activity, or at least circulatory activity from something ( like cardiac bypass, or really good CPR). The latter happens a lot for hours after death as the blood clots, separates, and reddish plasma rises, then runs off the top of clotted blood as the body is moved. That, in exact terms, is not "bleeding profusely", but "bled profusely". Also, in an exsanguinating nose bleed, there may be a half liter of blood in the mouth , nose, and upper airway, and still more in the respiratory tree. When the body is moved, that blood, as clot or separated plasma, flows out. All of this is consistent with a state several hours after death when rigor mortis may have begun.

About the medical and coroners report- don't get too bent, the doctors do not comment on external blood- it is not important to what they have to report on.  (+ info)

rigor mortis? i don't even know what that is!?

Predict and explain the response if the ATP concentration in a muscle that was exhibiting rigor mortis could be instantly increased.
Okay, now that I know what "rigor mortis" is, how do I answer the question? Cause I have no idea what the answer is. Please help. Thanks.

a form of same thing that happens to your bf when you two get busy  (+ info)

if someone died with an erection,would that still be classified as rigor mortis?

It would make it "hard on" the coroner to decide.  (+ info)

Rigor Mortis question?

When does rigor mortis peak? (not start or finish, peak.) And how do you know if a body is going into rigor mortis, or going out of it? Thank you! :)

within 2 to 4 it sets in and after 12...it goes out.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigor_mortis  (+ info)

when rigor mortis sets in does a man have an errection?

call me sick, call me nasty, call me anything you want, but i honestly wondered this so I asked it!!!

Sorry, James...wrong answer. Rigor mortis happens when the body turns from an alkyline state to an acid state. The muscles stiffen to the point that the body will not bend except with excessive force. Rigor passes when the body returns to an alkyline state again.

Also, rigor disappears in the same amount of time that it took to happen. So if it took 6 hours for rigor to be in full effect, then it would take 6 hours for it to pass.

And no, there would not be an erection.  (+ info)

rigor mortis question!?

I was taught that e.g in touching your shoulder with your hand,our biceps allow us to move by one muscle contracting while the opposite muscle relaxes. I was also told that if all our muscles contracted at the same time, it would break our bones. Is it not true that in rigor mortis all the muscles contract-do bones therefore get broken because of this?

What an interesting Question!

Calcium is necessary for muscles to contract. Too much calcium = muscle cramps.

Oxygen is necessary to help pump calcium out of muscle cells to prevent cramps.

In a dead person, no oxygen is available, so calcium builds up in the muscle cells, keeping them slightly contracted (stiff).

This is called rigor mortis. It continues until muscles begin to decompose, releasing the calcium. This takes about 72 hours.

Since the muscles only contract slightly, not fully, no bones are broken. The joints do become very stiff, though.  (+ info)

why does rigor mortis develop?

Because muscles stiffen after a person dies.

http://chemistry.about.com/cs/biochemistry/a/aa061903a.htm  (+ info)

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