Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WHEN IS THE LAST BREATH?


At what point is a person pronounced dead?

At what point is a person really dead?
Are the above one and the same?

At what point does a person cross that invisible line?


Read a story about someone who was discovered alive after being put in the mortuary - Scary, very scary.

It would have been priceless though to see the face of the mortuary attendant or whoever discovered him. Imagine opening up a body and the 'dead' body goes,"o hello there,I've been wondering when someone would stop by".

What are the end of life signs?


Doctors usually do some physical examination
before pronouncing someone dead, these include:

Checking the pupils

Checking the pulses

Checking the heart beat

Checking for respiration


There was mild drama recently in the ER when a doctor certified a body dead. While the body was being taken away, there was a loud uproar around the Emergency room that the body had moved.

The body was quickly rushed back to the doctor.

The doctor fearing a possible mob action had to ask for an unbiased second opinion.
Of course, the body was still dead. So what must have happened? Your guess is as good as mine.

Many a time I find myself going through the motion of checking a body that is so obviously dead and feeling stupid about it. Imagine an almost decomposing body brought to the ER, then imagine a doctor bringing out his fancy stethoscope, checking the heart, looking at the eyes, checking for respiration." Hello! He's been dead 2 days!"

Notwithstanding, it would be quite callous and completely irresponsible for a doctor to go,"o yeah, I see him, he's dead alright, cover him up", without performing even some perfunctory checks.

For medico-legal reasons you still have to check and maybe double check however unpleasant it is; because, strange things still occur that may be hard to explain away scientifically.


image courtesy

4 comments:

  1. I would certainly not like to be pronounced dead if I wasn't. I would want the doctor to make sure. I know I've had some bad experiences with doctors who think the illness isn't there because they'd never heard of it.

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  2. Thank you Anne, i completely agree with you.

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  3. As a child I can remember the story of one of my parents dead friends 'waking up' in the mortuary - and he lived for a good forty years after that!

    In my workplace, when a resident dies there is always a small seed of doubt in my mind - am I wrong (?) - what if he/she is not dead (?) and I am so relieved when the doc certifies death!

    Anna :o]

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  4. Thank you Anna, that's an interesting story about your parents' friend. I fully understand your trepidation in dealing with a death.

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