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Perdoon
09-11-2009, 05:06 AM
...but not all at the same time.

A few questions I've tried to google and search here but failed miserably...

Dehydration

What are the effects of dehydration on a person one day after their last drink? What about two days after?

This is assuming he was in perfect health, didn't know it was going to be his last drink and he hasn't been doing anything strenuous since

He's on his own so I don't really care about physical appearance, pupil dilation, etc. Just how he feels at the end of each day. Weak? How intense are his headaches and dizziness (if at all)? How badly do his lips crack? Do his limbs feel heavy/is it difficult to move?

Currently, I've got no significant ill-effects after one day, two days he's feeling lethargic and having headaches. I'm aware of the three-days to death rule of thumb, but I couldn't find anything specific about the stages before then.

Electrocution

Someone was electrocuted and died two-three days before you find her. She was in perfect health before electrocution (or near enough to not matter). When she was electrocuted, she was thrown backward so she's not still holding them.

The wires are difficult to explain without going through half the story. Basically, they carry more than enough current to kill someone instantly.

What physical marks are on her? At the moment, I've got burns on her palms where she accidentally touched the wires, but after looking into it I realise that mightn't be so common and there might be other, more common marks. I've found stuff on bleeding from the eyes/nose/ears, but nothing on the likelihood of it happening.

Death

It's been three days, I'm assuming she'll have a relaxed expression (correct me if I'm wrong) and a pale face (blood pools near the ground thanks to gravity). Insects haven't found her so I don't have to worry about maggots or anything (don't correct me if I'm wrong, they definitely haven't found her).

She's been indoors in a slightly cooler environment than usual, assume 5-ish oC (9-ish oF?) below room temperature. Enough to be cool, but not unliveable.

I'm assuming she's in the 'fresh' stage of decomposition (here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposition#Fresh)) which doesn't describe any odours except for saying that there'll be 'putrefactive effects'. The putrefaction page (here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putrefaction)) says at 2-3 days, staining begins and the body starts to swell. As a general comment, it mentions a 'putrid odour' but nothing more specific. Of course, all these effects are subject to the conditions she's been in since death.

Since she's indoors, in slightly cooler conditions and there are no bugs:

Does she smell? What does she smell of? How strong is the smell?
Will the swelling have occurred? Where is it likely to be noticeable? Being fully dressed, are you likely to be able to notice it at all?
Have I overlooked anything? Are there any other visible effects at this stage?

I don't want to go too in-depth about how she looks, but I need a brief description. Plus, if the person who finds her is surprised by seeing her when people down the street should have been able to smell her, obviously that needs to be changed :tongue

That ended up far longer than I expected. Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any advice!

jclarkdawe
09-11-2009, 05:39 AM
...but not all at the same time.

A few questions I've tried to google and search here but failed miserably...

Dehydration

What are the effects of dehydration on a person one day after their last drink? What about two days after?

This is assuming he was in perfect health, didn't know it was going to be his last drink and he hasn't been doing anything strenuous since

He's on his own so I don't really care about physical appearance, pupil dilation, etc. Just how he feels at the end of each day. Weak? How intense are his headaches and dizziness (if at all)? How badly do his lips crack? Do his limbs feel heavy/is it difficult to move?

Currently, I've got no significant ill-effects after one day, two days he's feeling lethargic and having headaches. I'm aware of the three-days to death rule of thumb, but I couldn't find anything specific about the stages before then.

Probably a bit delirious as well and imagining things. Physical appearance is going to depend a lot on humidity. In a desert, you dry out quickly. In high humidity, your skin stays moist.

Electrocution

Someone was electrocuted and died two-three days before you find her. She was in perfect health before electrocution (or near enough to not matter). When she was electrocuted, she was thrown backward so she's not still holding them.

The wires are difficult to explain without going through half the story. Basically, they carry more than enough current to kill someone instantly.

What physical marks are on her? At the moment, I've got burns on her palms where she accidentally touched the wires, but after looking into it I realise that mightn't be so common and there might be other, more common marks. I've found stuff on bleeding from the eyes/nose/ears, but nothing on the likelihood of it happening.

Electrocution occurs with an entry and an exit wound. The electricity travels through your body. For example, if you grab a wire with one hand, it will come out someplace else, probably a leg. Both will show burn marks. You may also have external burns showing the path of the electricity. Damage depends a lot upon amount.

When you grab a wire, your hand clasps shut. That's why you can't let go of the damn thing. All of your muscles go rigid. If nothing happens, then the muscles release after the electricity stops flowing. In other words, a blown curcuit. Wire would probably stay near the palm of her hand when she collapsed. She would not grab the wire with both hands. We just don't tend to do this.

Burn marks would probably show at both the entry and exit wounds. Clothes might also be burned at those locations. She would not be thrown backwards, unless the voltage was extremely high. That tends to happen in high voltage situations where it's in the ground.

Bleeding can occur from any opening. It depends.

Death

It's been three days, I'm assuming she'll have a relaxed expression (correct me if I'm wrong) and a pale face (blood pools near the ground thanks to gravity). Insects haven't found her so I don't have to worry about maggots or anything (don't correct me if I'm wrong, they definitely haven't found her).

She's been indoors in a slightly cooler environment than usual, assume 5-ish oC (9-ish oF?) below room temperature. Enough to be cool, but not unliveable.

I'm assuming she's in the 'fresh' stage of decomposition (here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposition#Fresh)) which doesn't describe any odours except for saying that there'll be 'putrefactive effects'. The putrefaction page (here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putrefaction)) says at 2-3 days, staining begins and the body starts to swell. As a general comment, it mentions a 'putrid odour' but nothing more specific. Of course, all these effects are subject to the conditions she's been in since death.

Since she's indoors, in slightly cooler conditions and there are no bugs:

Does she smell? What does she smell of? How strong is the smell?
Will the swelling have occurred? Where is it likely to be noticeable? Being fully dressed, are you likely to be able to notice it at all?
Have I overlooked anything? Are there any other visible effects at this stage?

I don't want to go too in-depth about how she looks, but I need a brief description. Plus, if the person who finds her is surprised by seeing her when people down the street should have been able to smell her, obviously that needs to be changed :tongue

Probably would not have a relaxed expression on her face. Electric burns hurt. More likely a shocked expression. Skin color would be grayish white, darkening as you get closer to the ground. Lower body level would be almost purplish black.

Rigor would probably have left the body. Smell would probably be noticable in the house, but not strong enough at these temperatures to be outside the house. Smell would probably involve putrification and burned smell, as well as fecal matter.

Maggots are very talented and would have found her unless the room is completely sealed. Shirt and pants would be stretched tight and buttons may be popping in the stomach area.

Person who discovers her would realize something is wrong as soon as he enters the house, and would leave the door open to start airing the place out.

This is all subject to a lot of variation, but working with where you want to go, I think this is the likely scenario.

That ended up far longer than I expected. Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any advice!

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Perdoon
09-11-2009, 06:04 AM
Gah, I meant palm, not palms... I even re-read it to make sure I hadn't screwed up :tongue

Also, the wires are in the ceiling, she's on a ladder. Should have mentioned that. Whether or not she's thrown backward by the shock (which I had assumed she would be but I'll skip that to sound smarter :tongue ), she ends up on her back on the floor.

Thanks! Just one question...


Probably would not have a relaxed expression on her face. Electric burns hurt. More likely a shocked expression.

At the time of death I assume she'd have a shocked expression (and it would work better for her to be found with it too), but wouldn't the muscles in her face relax over the few days since?

jclarkdawe
09-11-2009, 06:53 AM
Gah, I meant palm, not palms... I even re-read it to make sure I hadn't screwed up :tongue Aren't typos fun?

Also, the wires are in the ceiling, she's on a ladder. Should have mentioned that. Whether or not she's thrown backward by the shock (which I had assumed she would be but I'll skip that to sound smarter :tongue ), she ends up on her back on the floor. It makes a difference whether the ladder is fiberglass or aluminum. In the US, ladders can be made safe for electrical work and are usually fiberglass, although I'm not sure what the exact composition is. Assuming an aluminum ladder, this would intensify the shock.

After the fuse blows, she'd release the wire, and fall. This would happen even if she was dead at the time. Depending upon her balance would be whether she falls forward or backwards. It's awfully hard to be dead and stay on a ladder.

Thanks! Just one question...


Probably would not have a relaxed expression on her face. Electric burns hurt. More likely a shocked expression.

At the time of death I assume she'd have a shocked expression (and it would work better for her to be found with it too), but wouldn't the muscles in her face relax over the few days since? I'd have to guess here. I'm not sure I've ever seen a "relaxed" face after several days of death. The muscles are slack, but you can still look like you're in shock. Eyes open, mouth open, arched neck would seem likely, but I don't know. body position here is going to be compromised from the fall from the ladder after death, but normally total body position can indicate a lot about the means of death (this is why in police investigations you don't move the body until the coroner releases it).

My guess here would be that her heart would have stopped while on the ladder and before the power blew. Even though she has fallen, which would move the body around, my guess is that the muscles would have been rather rigid and stiff. This would affect the position of the body even though it had been moved. Within a few moments of being on the floor, death would become complete, but because prior to that the body was clenched, the limbs would maintain that position, subject to gravity.

Especially when looking at bodies, you notice the position of the entire body in determining whether they are relaxed or not at death.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

C.bronco
09-11-2009, 07:17 AM
I've recently discovered that dehydration can be accountable for a salty or briny taste in your mouth. The enormous amounts of Diet Pepsi that I consume do not help.

I need to pick up some Pedialyte, because this "water drinking" has got to go!

Perdoon
09-11-2009, 07:18 AM
Awesome, that's very helpful. Thanks Jim!

EDIT: And thanks C.bronco too, sorry, didn't see your post. I actually remember hearing it can do that ages ago but I'd forgotten. Yay for my dodgy memory :tongue