|Title:||Evaluation of Postmortem Changes|
|Date published:||February 9, 2020|
|Date updated:||May 1, 2023|
Postmortem changes constitute the natural progression of the body’s decomposition after death, beginning at the cellular level. The process involves complex cellular and biological phenomena. The changes that commence immediately after death continue to occur over a prolonged period at different rates for different organs. The onset and extent of these changes are affected by multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The rates are not precise and differ from one geographical region to another and also differ in the same geographic region from one season to another. Understanding postmortem changes is essential for estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) or time since death, one of the primary objectives of the forensic autopsy. The timings of the appearance of the various postmortem changes mentioned in this brief overview of postmortem changes are only guidelines pertaining to tropical climates unless otherwise specified and should never be considered as absolute.