The mortal remains of actress Sridevi were released by the Dubai Police today for embalming. The body of the iconic actress, who died Saturday evening, was found in a bathtub of room no 2201 in the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai. The developments after her death followed a number of forensic terminologies and procedures that were discussed and followed.
Here is a brief description of all the forensic and medical procedures in the case:
Embalming is the process of chemically treating the body of a deceased person for purposes of temporarily preserving the remains and forestalling decomposition. It is done for the purpose of keeping the remains suitable for public display at a funeral, religious reasons, preserving the body, if the last rites will be performed at a later date.
The procedure usually takes 45 minutes, however, if there are procedures of cosmetology, dressing and casketing involved, it can take several hours. Embalming is done as an invasive procedure by injecting chemical solutions in the deceased person’s arteries, tissues and organs while slowly draining out fluids to slow the body’s decomposition and restore it to a more ‘suitable’ physical appearance.
The autopsy report of Sridevi suggested she died of accidental drowning in the bathtub. Autopsy or post-mortem examination or necropsy is the procedure of examining the body of a deceased person. An autopsy is performed by both medical practitioners as well as forensic experts for different purposes. In the interest of forensic discussion, forensic experts carry out the autopsy to determine the cause of death and related parameters like time of death, additional contributors, medical history, injury or drug analysis etc. The forensic autopsy also has a legal aspect and is admissible in the court of law in case of homicide, accident, suicide, natural event etc.
Viscera is the plural of viscus which is Latin means an organ of the body. Viscera in forensic sciences are the internal organs of the body, particularly the ones present within the chest like heart, lung, liver, pancreas etc.
Cardiac Arrest vs Heart Attack
Earlier, it was reported that Sridevi died of cardiac arrest. The report came as a shock as the actor didn’t have a history of heart disease. Cardiac arrest and heart attack are believed by a layman to be the same. However, it is a common mistake. A cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function in a person. This may even occur to someone who has no diagnosed heart ailment. A cardiac arrest occurs instantly after the appearance of symptoms and the time and mode of death are unexpected. It occurs when the electrical system of one’s heart malfunctions. In such cases, when the heart stops functioning suddenly, a person may die. While a person may die within minutes of a cardiac arrest, it can be reversed via CPR or use of a defibrillator.
On the other hand, a heart attack may lead to cardiac arrest and sudden death, but it is not the same. Heart attacks are caused by blockages in the veins or arteries that stop the flow of blood to a person’s heart. A heart attack, also called myocardial infarction, is the condition of not the death of a person but the death of heart muscle tissue owing to loss of blood supply. This may or may not lead to the death of a person.