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onesecondglance
11-18-2013, 08:43 PM
... not as in gushing torrents of blood, more the kind of seeping out stuff. This could be a bit squicky, so I guess that's a warning for those who don't like squick.

Two specific scenarios here. In both, the bodies are of normal people (nothing supernatural). They died in a variety of ways, but for the purposes of this discussion we can say that none of them died from blood loss. After death, they were put into body bags and placed into refrigeration similar to a hospital morgue, lying prostrate on their backs. The scenarios described take place between two and four days since death.


Scenario 1: Upon opening one of the body bags, the zip catches in the corpse's chest hair and tears a handful-sized chunk out. On a living person, you would get red pinpricks of blood rising to the surface, which is a nice visual image.

What would happen with a corpse? Nothing, perhaps, due to livor mortis?


Scenario 2: One of the characters makes a partial effort to disguise the identities of the dead by:
(a) cutting off their fingers
(b) extracting their teeth (with pliers)
(c) slicing off any tattoos

They also cut into the back of the corpse's necks in order to extract an implanted piece of technology (d).

What kind of bleeding would be expected from each of these activities?


Thanks in advance for any help. Reps will be forthcoming!

Williebee
11-18-2013, 08:47 PM
Corpses leak. It's question of pressure, same as with a water hose, I'd think. The heart pumps, creating pressure in the lines. Once heart stops and the fluids reach their lowest available point (inside or outside the body) the fluid stops moving until such time as another avenue presents itself.

StephanieFox
11-18-2013, 08:54 PM
It depends on how long the body has been a corpse.

onesecondglance
11-18-2013, 08:56 PM
It depends on how long the body has been a corpse.

As mentioned in the OP, between two and four days. :)

ironmikezero
11-18-2013, 08:58 PM
Corpses leak. It's question of pressure, same as with a water hose, I'd think. The heart pumps, creating pressure in the lines. Once heart stops and the fluids reach their lowest available point (inside or outside the body) the fluid stops moving until such time as another avenue presents itself.

+1... this^

As for any postmortem mutilation/amputation to frustrate identification, it'd be a waste of time if the decedent's DNA is on file in any database.

ebbrown
11-18-2013, 08:59 PM
They still bleed at first. Depends on how far dead they are what it will look like. Corpses you describe sitting in a morgue will have their blood/fluid settle with gravity, so they will be blotchy purple on their butts and other body parts lying against the stretcher.

Fresh dead bodies bleed if you poke them with something, but you will not see the blood squirt out once the heart stops. It just trickles.

It is difficult to get an IV on a dead person for this reason, since part of knowing if the IV is in the right place is by the flash of blood into the catheter to confirm placement.

Fresh dead bodies will also let out gas from every orifice. I will never forget the time I put a fresh dead one in a bag, and as I zipped it up, she burped and her eyes moved. It scared the bejeezus outta me.

Once the body is dead for a longer length of time, if you poke it you may not get too much blood to come out. You're likely to get some cruddy looking fluid, though.

shadowwalker
11-18-2013, 09:10 PM
The blood would pool in the lowest areas of the body; it also gradually separates into liquid and solid. What would come out of the wounds you mention would be "water" and not look like blood; however, it's highly unlikely that those areas would actually be the "low spot", so you wouldn't get anything unless the blood had gotten "caught" in a depression of some kind.

Perks
11-18-2013, 09:16 PM
Once the body is dead for a longer length of time, if you poke it you may not get too much blood to come out. You're likely to get some cruddy looking fluid, though.

If I promise never ever to poke a dead body, will you promise never to type that again? :e2thud:

blacbird
11-18-2013, 10:40 PM
Two days or more along, all blood will have coagulated, I'm pretty sure. And rigor mortis, which is a stiffening of muscle tissue that sets in about 12 hours after death, dissipates after about 36 hours. By that time, unless the body is frozen, decay is happening.

caw

jclarkdawe
11-18-2013, 11:06 PM
... not as in gushing torrents of blood, more the kind of seeping out stuff. This could be a bit squicky, so I guess that's a warning for those who don't like squick.

Two specific scenarios here. In both, the bodies are of normal people (nothing supernatural). They died in a variety of ways, but for the purposes of this discussion we can say that none of them died from blood loss. The way a person dies can effect this. A calm, peaceful death has some differences to someone killed in the midst of anger. It will effect rigor mortis and the speed at which the blood dies off. Understand that death isn't one finite event, but a bunch of different events. We're now exploring whether lungs are still viable an hour after death and blood has been transfused in Russia several hours after death. Blood remains a fluid, subject to coagulation, for some period of time after death.

After death, they were put into body bags and placed into refrigeration similar to a hospital morgue, lying prostrate on their backs. Are they being put into body bags within an hour or so after death, or is there a significant time lapse? Refrigeration will delay decomposition significantly. If the bodies enter refrigeration shortly after death, decomposition will be marginal for a significant period of time.

The scenarios described take place between two and four days since death. There's a big difference here between 48 hours and 96 hours. There's also big differences in how bodies are handled. Assuming reasonably good conditions, however, and proper storage, after 96 hours, you're going to begin seeing some decomposition if you know what to look for. If the conditions are less then optimal, you'll see significant decomposition.

You'll probably have some level of rigor mortis in the body. Blood will pool in the lower areas of the body, and will be at its normal fluidity, although the cold will cause some reduction in viscosity. Remember that blood is a somewhat thick fluid, and doesn't flow as well as water. However, it will definitely flow, and seek its lowest level.

Autopsy and embalming tables have a channel around the outside, with a drain, to catch the blood.

Scenario 1: Upon opening one of the body bags, the zip catches in the corpse's chest hair and tears a handful-sized chunk out. On a living person, you would get red pinpricks of blood rising to the surface, which is a nice visual image.

What would happen with a corpse? Nothing, perhaps, due to livor mortis?

I've used at least three different brands/types of body bags, so there are some differences. But they are designed to be leak proof, including the zipper. They sort of have a flap on each side of the zipper (which is heavy duty) to help seal the zipper area.

Second is that bodies are rarely bagged in the nude. You bag them in the same condition that you find them. You wouldn't normally strip a body before bagging. So unless he's sitting around with a naked chest, he's unlikely to have a naked chest after being bagged.

In the field, if we find someone nude (or nearly nude). it's usually in bed. We take the sheet (and maybe all of the bedding depending upon the survivors) and wrap the sheet over the body before placing the body in a bag.

Other then in mass casualty situations, you're usually very careful with bodies.

As a result, I don't find this scenario particularly believable. And the person who did this would probably be fired.

That said, you might get some pink dots, but the blood would be along the back, and the zipper along the front.

Scenario 2: One of the characters makes a partial effort to disguise the identities of the dead by:
(a) cutting off their fingers Depends upon how the hands were placed in the body bag. If you're being neat, you'd place them on the chest/stomach area. Otherwise, they lay along the side.

If the hands are elevated, like being on the chest, minimal bleeding. Maybe enough to soak a paper towel.

If laying by the side of the body, a lot more bleeding, and depends partly on shoulder structure. Basically any blood that can flow out due to gravity.

(b) extracting their teeth (with pliers) Minimal bleeding. It's going to build up their muscles. Personally I'd take a baseball bat and whack the shit out of the jar instead. Break enough parts and the chances of an identification become slim.

(c) slicing off any tattoos Depends upon how good they are at skinning and location of the tattoos. Think gravity here. A tramp stamp on the lower back will bleed a lot, a small tattoo on the bicep not much at all.

They also cut into the back of the corpse's necks in order to extract an implanted piece of technology (d). Lots and lots of blood. Personally I'd roll the body over first, cut the jugular vein and carotid artery, lift the feet and drain, and then cut out the implant.

What kind of bleeding would be expected from each of these activities?


Thanks in advance for any help. Reps will be forthcoming!

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

onesecondglance
11-18-2013, 11:48 PM
Thank you all for the excellent (and fast!) responses. This is exactly what I need to improve those scenes.

Cheers!

Waldo
11-22-2013, 04:46 AM
There's some good info here. I know the skin loses it's elasticity, but someone might want add to that.

Also, there are a ton of different measurements for identification besides finger prints and dentition (teeth). Dental records are the best. Someone who knows the dead and wants to hide their identity may think to remove any prosthetic joints, lodged bullets (don't know how they died)... They might want to add some misleading injuries, like a head wound, a throat slit and/or a stab to the cerebellum. It's kind of hard to establish cause of death no matter what your experience when the body has been tampered with and the weapon needs to be found and linked to the accused.

Nivarion
11-22-2013, 09:13 AM
The killer could destroy the identity by smashing and removing parts of the jaw, and doing the other things Waldo suggests, then wrapping it in a blanket, dousing it in gas and then setting it on fire. If conditions are right, the whole body can burn up like a big meat candle, it can also just severely burn the skin and hair.

I'd imagine though, that a body would bleed like a cut of pork you buy at the store. It seeps out in watery fluid.