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J Forensic Sci. 1979 Jan;24(1):200-6.

Factors influencing gastric emptying.


Gastric emptying time may be of investigative value and evidentiary significance in estimating the time of death. However, in order to express an expert opinion with a degree of certainty, the time, volume, and character of the last meal must be known, and other factors considered. The maximum normal emptying time for the healthy intact stomach is 6 h. Factors accelerating or delaying gastric emptying include fear and apprehension, acute and chronic diseases, trauma, drugs, and the stomach that has undergone surgery. Recognition of these influences supports the conclusions that the forensic pathologist draws regarding the interval between the last meal and death.

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