The time of death estimation plays important role in solving both criminal and civil cases. The inspection of the gastric contents must be part of every postmortem examination because if the time of taking last meal is known, the approximate time of death can be made out indirectly. The rate of gastric emptying varies in man from 2.5 to 6 hours. The length of time required to empty the stomach is variable as it depends upon a host of factors like nature and consistency of food, motility of stomach, contents, environment, emotional/psychological factors and residual variations. The aim of this study is to determine approximate time of death by examination of gastric contents in deceased body brought to mortuary at Civil Hospital Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Present study was conducted on total 100 deceased persons (70 males and 30 females) whose time of death and time of last meal were known. Gastric contents were examined and divided in three categories; semi-digested identifiable food particles, semi-digested un-identifiable food particles, empty stomach. These findings were compared with time interval between last meal and time of death. In present study the identifiable semi-digested food particle were found more commonly in those persons who died 0-2 hours after last meal, un-identifiable semi-digested food particle were found more commonly in those persons who died 2-6 hours after last meal and empty stomach were found more commonly in those persons who died more than 6 hours after last meal. From present study we conclude that indirect estimation of time since death can be possible from examination of gastric content but due to variability of gastric emptying in different individuals we canít exactly define time since death.
Gastric contents, Gastric emptying, Identifiable food particles, Un-identifiable food particles, Indirect estimation of time since death.