Post Mortem Movement

  1. 1
    Has anyone here ever seen a person who had ceased to breath continue to move. I ask because there was a lady who did just that in the ED where I work about a month ago. No heart beat, not breathing, nothing, but her feet and legs as well as her fingers continued to move around gently for about 20 minutes. It was so strange that we had to make the family wait to view the body.

    I know that she was given a lot of different meds while we were trying to resuscitate her, do you think that is what caused it?
    Davey Do likes this.

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  2. 21 Comments...

  3. 0
    ooooh how creepy...

    I have never seen this. However, I have heard a moan as residual air passed through the vocal cords....scared the bejeezus out of me.
  4. 1
    Quote from Shadelyn
    Has anyone here ever seen a person who had ceased to breath continue to move. I ask because there was a lady who did just that in the ED where I work about a month ago. No heart beat, not breathing, nothing, but her feet and legs as well as her fingers continued to move around gently for about 20 minutes. It was so strange that we had to make the family wait to view the body.

    I know that she was given a lot of different meds while we were trying to resuscitate her, do you think that is what caused it?
    "HOLY CRAP!!!!!" or something along those lines would have been heard spewing from my mouth.
    Freaky
    Tom
    maelstrom143 likes this.
  5. 0
    I have never hear of anything like this before. I am sure that a answer lie somewhere. If anyone finds the answer I would like to know. Thanks Ladynan
    Last edit by ladynan on Jan 16, '07 : Reason: sentence wrong
  6. 1
    Ah now that reminds me of something

    From :system shock 2
    Patient Watson died at 0240 of non-specific causes. Despite zero respiratory and brain function, the body is still displaying autonomous motor function, as does the parasite. At 0847, the patient even spoke to one of the nurses. Autopsy is set for 1630 and then we'll see what makes this Lazarus tick...
    Never played a game quite that scary/creepy since.

    I'm afraid I can't enlighten you as to your patient though.

    Levin
    Davey Do likes this.
  7. 1
    I have seen it happen, and have also seen people have very random shallow chest acivity after death. If you think about your nerves and how some are actually independant of the brain it stands to reason that there may be some random nerve activity yet after death. Remember your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system? Have you ever seen frog legs being fried? Same prinicpal, if there is still some fireing of the nerves in the extremities you may get some slight twitching in the legs and hands for a few minutes.
    Davey Do likes this.
  8. 1
    Maybe pt had an electronic nerve stimulator implanted. They are used to treat seizure disorders and chronic pain syndromes. They would still be activated even after death until turned off by a magnetic wand. Did pt have one of these conditions?
    Davey Do likes this.
  9. 1
    I've seen it happen and about peed my pants! I was attempting to wash around the pt's mouth when is hand moved and touched my stomach. It was one of those soft brushes that makes your skin crawl.

    Ok, I've got the willies now.
    Davey Do likes this.
  10. 0
    The first time I saw it I almost lost it. I've seen it many times since, and it doesn't phase me anymore. There is still electrical activity in the body even after the heart and lungs cease to work, and that's what you see. It can be so mild that all I could see was muscle fibers twitching after we opened a chest and lost the pt anyway. It can be severe enough that the top or bottom half of the body can literally come up from the gurney. Haven't seen that one myself but I've heard others talking about it. Scared the crap out of them.
  11. 1
    Thanks for the replies. It was definately a unique sight. I didn't believe it until I saw it myself. It makes sence that her muscles and neurons were still firing. To my knowledge she didn't have any sort of sitmulation devices.

    I have heard the moan before, that's creepy too. But, i think I'd pee in my pants or pass out if a body ever sat up. That may be the end of my short lived career in healthcare...
    maelstrom143 likes this.


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