- 昭和医学会雑誌 (ISSN:00374342)
- vol.21, no.1, pp.56-63, 1961-04-28 (Released:2010-09-09)
TO make an inference of the postmortem duration is as important as the diffetential diagnosis of death whether by drowing or by other causer. This inference, however, is highly difficult.Text books on legal medicine and literatures hitherto published fail to give precise informations as to how long does it take before a drowned corpse start bloatiug up on the surface of water. In this connection, an investigation was made on the drowned corpses in Tokyo in the past 10 years with known date and time of death and the exact locality of appearance dy floating up. Results obtained are believed to be of some practical value in the field of legal medicine. Their reliability, further, was conrfirmed by animal experiments.1. Average days spent before drowned corpses float up by the generation of putrid gas in the rivers and in the vicinity of harbours in Tokyo (depth1.5-7.0) were markedly varyant depending on the season of the year being 1.8 days in August and 28. days in January, namely, they are closely related with the temperature of water.2. Both the specific gravity of water and the intensity of contamination are larger in the lower stream of a river. if those two factors have some association with the floating up of drowned corpses, the days required must be longer in the upper stream than those in the lower stream, but in fact no such difference was recognizable between them.3. Mean surface water temperatures of the rivers and harbours in Tokyo were determined in each month and they were tabulated with the respective findings of the days required for floating up of corpses determined by statistic calculation. Thus, a table for the inference of the days required for floating up of corpses was prepared by the difference or season or water temperature.4. Based on the findings of animal experiments, it is concluded that the reduce in the specific gravity of corpses by the generation of putrid gas takes place rather quickly after a certain lag period which is dependent mostly on the temperature of water and that it does not show a gradual increase following the lapse of time time. Accordingly, the difference in the specific gravity at the time of drowing is considered to have little influence on the duraton of the days required for floating up.5. Relationship of the water temperature and the days required for floating up of corpses observed on animal experiments confirmed the reliability of the aforementioned table prepared for the inference of the days required for floating up of corpses by the difference of season or water emperature.