Orensic Pathology Case Study: The Alcoholic Deceased Male”

A 63y/o male is found dead in his apartment. There is blood everywhere. The scene is handled as a homicide. In addition to the blood, there is an abundance of empty beer cans, with many more unopened cans of beer found in the refrigerator.

The decedentas body is removed to the Morgue, and an autopsy performed. NO open wounds can be identified, despite a lengthy and increasingly desperate search for same. The only significant finding at autopsy is a paucity of blood in the body (specifically the vascular system), and obvious irregular changes to the liver consistent with cirrhosis.

Investigation revealed that the decedent was, as was suspected, an alcoholic.

The forensic pathologist is perplexed, but reluctantly authorizes release of the body, after taking blood, urine, and tissue specimens.

About 2 hours later, the mortician calls the Coroneras Office. The mortician had been present when the forensic pathologist and deputy coroner discussed the absence of anything to account for the blood loss from the decedent, nor the amount of blood found in the apartment. The mortician reports that when he was embalming the body, he noticed first a little blood and then a lot of embalming fluid running onto the foot-end of the embalming table. He examined the body, and noted what looked like an a?apparently slight ulcerationa? on the dorsal aspect of the left leg.

Answer the following two questions:

a) Anatomically and physiologically, what happened to the decedent?

b) Physiologically, why did it happen?