Understanding Autopsies

Autopsies pic
Image: pathguy.com

A forensic pathologist residing in Austin, Texas, Dr. Danielo Perez has conducted autopsies on people who passed away from unexplained or unnatural causes. Before moving to Austin, Dr. Danielo Perez completed his residency training in anatomic and clinical pathology at Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was named chief resident.

Depending on the state of the cadaver in question or the context of the death being investigated, forensic pathologists may conduct a very thorough or very limited autopsy. A limited autopsy may involve the study of one organ, while a more extensive procedure may look at several organ systems and bodily cavities.

During a standard autopsy procedure, a pathologist often scrutinizes the abdomen, chest, and even the brain. These steps come in addition to an external examination wherein the pathologist notes identifying or unusual marks and records metrics such as the cadaver’s mass and height.

Over the course of an autopsy, the pathologist may take tissue samples for laboratory testing. Toxicology screenings, one type of test, can determine what chemicals were in the deceased’s system at the time of death. Once finished with an autopsy, pathologists attempt to determine probable cause of death.


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