AskDefine | Define lividity

Dictionary Definition



1 a state of fury so great the face becomes discolored
2 unnatural lack of color in the skin (as from bruising or sickness or emotional distress) [syn: lividness, luridness, paleness, pallidness, pallor, wanness, achromasia]

Extensive Definition

Livor mortis or postmortem lividity or hypostasis (Latin: livor—bluish color, mortis—of death), one of the signs of death, is a settling of the blood in the lower (dependent) portion of the body, causing a purplish red discoloration of the skin: when the heart is no longer agitating the blood, heavy red blood cells sink through the serum by action of gravity. This discoloration does not occur in the areas of the body that are in contact with the ground or another object, as the capillaries are compressed.
Coroners can use the presence or absence of livor mortis as a means of determining an approximate time of death. The presence of livor mortis is an indication not to start CPR, or to stop it if it is in progress. It can also be used by forensic investigators to determine whether or not a body has been moved (for instance, if the body is found lying face down but the pooling is present on its back, investigators can determine that the body was originally positioned face up).
Livor mortis starts 20 minutes to 3 hours after death and is congealed in the capillaries in 4 to 5 hours. Maximum lividity occurs within 6-12 hours.
lividity in German: Totenflecke
lividity in Korean: 시반
lividity in Indonesian: Livor mortis
lividity in Italian: Livor mortis
lividity in Dutch: Livor mortis
lividity in Japanese: 死斑
lividity in Polish: Plamy pośmiertne
lividity in Portuguese: Livor mortis
lividity in Russian: Трупные пятна
lividity in Serbian: Livor mortis
lividity in Finnish: Lautuma
lividity in Swedish: Likfläck
lividity in Thai: การตกของเม็ดเลือดแดงตามแรงโน้มถ่วง
lividity in Chinese: 尸斑
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