The rate of decomposition may be accelerated under a number of conditions. A body may show signs of advanced decomposition soon after death.


Factors associated with rapid body decomposition:

(1) high external temperature, especially with high humidity

(2) high internal temperature (fever, stimulant drugs, malignant hyperthermia)

(3) slow loss of body temperature (secondary to obesity, presence of blankets, failure to refrigerate)

(4) concurrent disease such as diabetes


Sources of high external temperatures:

(1) shower, hot tub or sauna

(2) heating blanket

(3) closed vehicle in the summer

(4) fire

(5) summer heat

(6) furnace or central heating


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.