Cadaver Clots or Agonal Thrombi?
Post-mortem blood may be either (a) semi-solidified, resembling clots or thrombi or their combinations, or entirely ‘white’ thrombi; or (b), in occasional cases, wholly liquid and incoagulable. Because such variations have confused observers, we will suggest an explanation for them in terms of the valve cusp hypoxia hypothesis (VCHH). The central question is whether it can rightly be imagined that blood coagulates after death. This was intensely debated in the early 20th century but was then resolved ad hoc. To attempt a resolution, the forensic and judicial implications of our account of the states of post-mortem blood will be explored and some clinical inferences drawn. This discussion will highlight the essential value of an a priori account of DVT aetiology.
KeywordsAgonal cadaver forensic post-mortem
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