Determining Cause of Death

Determining cause of death is the most important task a pathologist can perform during the course of an autopsy. In terms of legality it is a necessity for law enforcement to be able to prove beyond any doubt that the deceased has died of means other than natural causes. Indeed …

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Drowning and Forensics

Drowning almost always occurs as a result of an accident. It is quite a staggering and sobering thought that many of those people who drown each year in the United Kingdom do so because they have never been taught how to swim or simply have a morbid fear of water …

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Estimating The Time of Death

Estimating the time of death for the deceased is something else that the pathologist will have to do during the course of his autopsy procedures. In addition to this he or she may be called upon at the scene of a crime whilst carrying out their external examinations to try …

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Stomach Contents as a Means of Evidence

In most autopsies the contents of the stomach are an important piece of evidence, which can sometimes prove to be the difference between accidental death and foul play. We have all seen the television and cinema autopsies played out where the pathologist will empty the contents of the deceased’s stomach …

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The Rate of Decay in a Corpse

The rate of decay within the human body after death is normally split into two distinct categories. These are: Autolysis: A process of self-digestion where the body’s enzymes contained within cells begin to go into a post death meltdown. The process can be speeded up by extreme heat and likewise …

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Insects and Flies in Forensic Medicine

An important factor in estimating the time of death of the deceased can sometimes be their surroundings, which includes what creatures are present in those surroundings. Many insects and flies are synonymous with the decaying of a corpse and from the point of view of a pathologist – accompanied by …

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Identifying the Victim

When it comes to identifying the deceased forensic science and forensic medicine are both crucial weapons in any law enforcement agency’s armoury. Difficulty in Identification Identifying the victim can sometimes not be as simple as looking at their face and matching them to a description given by a worried relative …

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Measuring Body Temperature

Although body temperature can vary between us as human beings, the average body temperature is around 37oC (or 98 Fahrenheit). Measuring Temperature Some people have varying temperatures as a result of variances in their metabolism: the higher the rate of metabolism the higher the temperature and likewise the lower the …

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Blood Types

The first question to ask and indeed to answer when looking into the area of blood types is: what is blood? What is Blood? Blood is – for the most part – the liquid part of the human body, which is called Plasma; and this Plasma contains proteins, clotting factors, …

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Bodily Fluids in Forensic Science

There are many different types of bodily fluid that are secreted by the body and are also present within the body at any given time. These fluids may be useful in helping forensic scientists and pathologists put together a detailed picture of how an individual died and likewise may also …

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