Autopsy and External Exam

Topics: Autopsy, Pathology, Death Pages: 2 (470 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Autopsy is known as the post-mortem exam that is done on a body. This examination consists of a thorough look at the corpse to determine time of death and cause of death. The person who does the exam is known as a Pathologist. These exams are done for either legal or medical purposes. “Autopsies can be further classified into cases where external examination suffices, and those where the body is dissected and internal examination is conducted.” Some cases will need permission from the next of kin to be able to be performed. The word autopsy comes from the Greek meaning “to see for oneself”. The purpose of the autopsy of to determine the cause of death and the state of health the person was in before he/she died. Having an autopsy done is very important. It allows for one to see any medical errors (if made) and or any diseases, or health problems that one might have had. There are four main types of autopsies. They are: Medico-Legal Autopsy or Forensic-find cause of death. Used for sudden death. Clinical or Pathological autopsies- used to make a diagnosis of disease. Anatomical or academic autopsies- performed by students for study purposes and Virtual or medical imaging autopsies- the use of technology (MRI). There are five ways that a death can be declared in an autopsy. They are: Natural, Homicide, Suicide, Accident or Undetermined. The process of the exam starts when the body arrives to the coroner’s office in a bag. They then proceed to make sure that the person’s body is the only evidence that came in the bag. An evidence sheet is a sheet that is sterile that the body is covered in. That becomes removed. They check for any signs of residue under the fingernails or hands, like gunpowder. The hands are bagged in a paper bag and taped at the wrist. The external exam consists of looking for any marks on the body…bite marks, bruising, scratches, cuts, soars, etc. Once the external exam is done they proceed with the internal exam. That’s when the coroner...
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