The last breath: in or out?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by greenberg, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. greenberg

    greenberg until the end of the world

    When dying: When a person is at their least breath - does the person breathe in, or breathe out?
  2. shichimenshyo

    shichimenshyo Caught in the machine

    Out I would imagine, seeing as the muscles that help you breath in air would cease to function.
  3. greenberg

    greenberg until the end of the world

    I read somewhere a title of a book, and it was something to the effect of "A closet of last breaths", based on the notion that when a person dies, they hold their last breath and take it to God. - Which would suggest that the last breath is an inbreath, and this is what puzzled me.
  4. mrow

    mrow Unless

    The last breath before dying is referred to as "agonal respiration" and is an exhalation.
  5. Bells

    Bells Frostbite!

    Out. They actually exhale.

    And most of the time, it makes a strange sound. Actually, the 'rattling', almost guttural sound can be heard in their last few breaths. Quite a horrible sound, and one that once heard, can never be forgotten.:bawl:
  6. watching someone or something die is a very strange experience, nothing like the movies at all.
  7. Myles

    Myles Registered Senior Member

    I agree; I've been there and heard that horrible sound.
  8. S.A.M.

    S.A.M. uniquely dreadful

    The death rattle

    A death rattle is a gurgling or rattle-like noise produced shortly before or after death by the accumulation of excessive respiratory secretions in the throat.

    Those who are dying may lose their ability to swallow, resulting in such an accumulation. While it is medically established that the death rattle is a strong indication that someone is near death, it can also be produced by other problems that cause interference with the swallowing reflex, for instance, brain injuries.
  9. Asguard

    Asguard Kiss my dark side

    I was in the prosses of writing about that when i saw your post sam. As i was saying it wouldnt be there at all times (for instance trauma and oxygen depreation) because they have nothing to do with respitory failure
  10. Bells

    Bells Frostbite!

    Yep. I heard it when my uncle passed away. He was awake and his eyes were wide open. He looked terrified actually. Was awful. He knew what was happening and so did all of us who were around his hospital bed. He was unable to move, look at anyone or even turn his eyes to look at anyone, he could not speak by that point.. but the look in his eyes.. sheer fear. As I said, was awful.

    That sound, I can still hear it each time I remember that afternoon. It is hard to explain. It is one of those things that needs to be heard to be understood. Movies often try to imitate the 'death rattle', but it does not even come close. The worst part is that towards the end, they do not breath rhythmically, but can take one breath every few minutes.. until it all just stops. So each time, you think this is it and then he just gasps again and you hear that sound again and you jump.. My uncle went like that for about 15 minutes before he passed away.. Only way I can describe it is 'bloody awful'.
  11. greenberg

    greenberg until the end of the world

    I've listened to it here

    The sound there under Death Rattle is roundabout the same as the sound my father makes when he takes a nap in the afternoon. It's an odious, ghastly sound and I remember it ever since I was a child.
    The sound will go on for a while, until he swallows, and then it goes again.
  12. Asguard

    Asguard Kiss my dark side

    thats sleep apnea (is thats what its called?) and its highly dangorious, its caused by a partial occlusion of the tracea which CAN reduce the O2 concentration enough to kill you
  13. Myles

    Myles Registered Senior Member

    I had to watch that happen to my youngest child, the only difference being that she was heavily sedated. It puts things into perspective.
  14. Myles

    Myles Registered Senior Member

    With regard to your original question, it suddenly occured to me that we talk of somebody expiring.
  15. lucifers angel

    lucifers angel same shit, differant day!!

    i saw my father in law take his last breath and it was out!
  16. GeoffP

    GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum

    What a lovely topic this is.

    Tell me, when someone dies, do they lose control of their farting? Is there a death toot?

  17. Asguard

    Asguard Kiss my dark side

    GeoffP funny you should say that because once a corpse comes out of rigamortis all the mussles relax and the gass has to escape. It can either come out as a fart or as a moan, and the corpse can actually sit up while this is happerning. It makes the morge an interesting place to work:p
  18. decantemix

    decantemix Guest

    Depends. Put a cork in it, bag face...That's a joke.

    The manner of death, can be quite complex. Lung collapse, of course, tends to void...
  19. Myles

    Myles Registered Senior Member

    Are you whistling in the dark ?

    When I was a boy the father of a friend of mine was an ambulance driver. I remember being told that a game they played on novices was to juggle a corpse, causing it to emit a fart or a groan. Of course, it was just about releasing air from the cadaver.
  20. GeoffP

    GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum


    Carry on here; I shall stroll in a less humid part of the graveyard, if whistle I must. Ugh.

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