Courtesy of Every Health | 04.03.2015 | Ashley Welch

During the dying process, blood pressure drops and decreased oxygen is supplied to the organs. Getty Images
During the dying process, blood pressure drops and decreased oxygen is supplied to the organs.
Getty Images

Death is a subject many people do not like to discuss, but it’s a part of life that we will all have to face. Sometimes the more you know about a certain subject, the less frightening it becomes. Here are 10 things you may not know about dying.

1. Dying is often a process. There are numerous causes of death, many of which are instant. For people who know death is approaching — whether fromsickness or old age — there are certain signs. These signs include slowed breathing, weakened heart rate, and a change in color, says Zachary Palace, MD, medical director of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York.

“In general, in the time leading up to death, usually the person will become pale because of a drop in blood pressure,” he says. “The fingers may get cold or turn blue. If you feel the pulse, it will be weak, and then they start to develop an irregular type of breathing, and that’s a sign that things are pretty ominous.”

 2. When breathing slows, death is likely near. Dr. Palace explains that there may be gaps in between breaths where it looks like the person stopped breathing for 15 to 20 seconds. He says families often worry at this point, but he assures them that it’s a normal part of the dying process.

3. There are two stages of death. The first stage, known as clinical death, occurs when a person’s heart stops beating. About four to six minutes later, brain cells start to die from the loss of oxygen and biological death occurs. Continue Reading