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  • Livor mortis or postmortem lividity or hypostasis (Latin: livor—bluish color, mortis—of death), one of the signs of death, is a settling of the blood in the lower (dependent) portion of the body, causing a purplish red discoloration of the skin: when the heart is no longer agitating the blood, heavy red blood cells sink through the serum by action of gravity. This discoloration does not occur in the areas of the body that are in contact with the ground or another object, as the capillaries are compressed.

    September 27, 2008