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Old 17th September 2007, 17:10   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 209
Autopsy Details

Originally posted by ElChevelle
Who starts an autopsy at the face?
On second thought, why do an autopsy on a car crash victim?
Regarding the 2nd point:
Any violent death should be followed by an autopsy because of legal reasons.

[Who is to blame for the death? Was the person already dead before the accident? Did he die as a direct consequence of the accident? Did he die because of a medical error after the accident? Does the pattern of lesions suggest some very particular incident? E.g. no seatbelt, some specific failure in the hardware, ..., the true accountability in a multiple cars collision. Other factors inducing/favouring the accident. There are very important reasons why an autopsy should always be done.]

Regarding the first point:
Autopsy usually starts by examining the whole body (NO incisions yet), and then the first cuts are indeed made on the head so that the brain is extracted and can be further analysed.

But the first thing a legal medicine doctor shall do is to make sure that the patient is indeed dead. A person is usually cleared for autopsy only when the definitive signs of death have ensued, and this is usually 6-8 hours after the death. So those doctors are surely to blame for this error.
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