|Stages of death|
Algor mortis (Latin: algor—coldness; mortis—of death), the second stage of death, is the change in body temperature post mortem, until the ambient temperature is matched. This is generally a steady decline, although if the ambient temperature is above the body temperature (such as in a hot desert), the change in temperature will be positive, as the (relatively) cooler body acclimates to the warmer environment. External factors can have a significant influence.
The term was first used by Dowler in 1849. The first published measurements of the intervals of temperature after death were done by Dr John Davey in 1839.
A measured rectal temperature can give some indication of the time of death. Although the heat conduction which leads to body cooling follows an exponential decay curve, it can be approximated as a linear process: 2 °C during the first hour and 1 °C per hour until the body nears ambient temperature.
Generally, temperature change is considered an inaccurate means of determining time of death, as the rate of change is affected by several key factors, including:
|This medical sign article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This death-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This article related to Latin words and phrases is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|