Post mortem is Latin for "after death". In English, postmortem refers to an examination, investigation, or process that takes place after death. A postmortem examination of a body often simply called a postmortem is often needed to determine the time and cause of death; the stiffening called rigor mortis is one postmortem change that doctors look at to determine when death occurred.
Tabulations of therapeutic, toxic and fatal concentrations of drugs are available for comparison to help with interpretation of the concentrations determined at autopsy.
The kind and quality of the blood sample available at autopsy depends to a large extent on the condition of the corpse and in particular the existence of severe trauma and whether any evidence of decomposition exists. Taking relevant samples is fundamental to allow correct interpretation of the analytical results.
A recommended practice is to clamp the femoral vein and then withdraw a suitable blood sample with a sterile syringe and wide bore needle. Blood samples intended for alcohol analysis should not be taken from the pericardium, abdominal or thoracic cavities because at these anatomical locations there is an increased risk of contamination by alcohol spreading from the gut.
Although heart blood is occasionally used as a specimen for postmortem alcohol analysis, this is not recommended owing to the risk of contamination with alcohol diffusing from the stomach or upper airways.
Blood specimens submitted for alcohol analysis are often clotted and completely hemolyzed, and occasionally, also diluted with other biological fluids.
Making a blind-stick Post mortem the chest enhances the risk of contamination of samples with ethanol that might have diffused from the stomach into the pleural and pericardial spaces. This problem is especially acute if the stomach has ruptured as often happens in multitrauma deaths, e.
The postmortem diffusion of alcohol and other drugs is a recurring issue in postmortem toxicology when the analytical results are interpreted.
The lungs, cardiac blood and abdominal spaces might also be contaminated with alcohol if the deceased aspirated vomit when high concentrations of alcohol remained in the stomach.
The fluoride ion is a potent enzyme inhibitor and helps to Post mortem glycolysis and any production of alcohol by fermentation if viable yeasts or other microorganisms are available to ferment glucose to alcohol.
Post mortem intracranial blood from a subdural or subarachnoid hematoma is one useful strategy to investigate whether the person had been drinking alcohol before receiving a blow to the head, fracture of the skull and cerebral hemorrhage. If the victim survives several hours after the trauma the concentration of alcohol in peripheral venous blood might have decreased to zero owing to metabolism occurring in the liver.
Because circulation in a cerebral blood clot is diminished or nonexistent the concentration of alcohol present should reflect the concentration in peripheral blood at an earlier point in time.
However, low concentrations of alcohol in intracranial blood clots might have been produced by microbial activity, which underscores the need for obtaining supporting evidence of alcohol consumption such as the analysis of urine or vitreous humor.
It is not easy to introduce fluoride ions into a blood clot. If necessary, the blood-alcohol concentration determined at autopsy can be translated into the amount of alcohol in the body at the time of death.
With additional information e. The scientific basis for making these blood-alcohol calculations, which almost always involves use of the Widmark equation, is presented elsewhere. Vitreous Humor Vitreous humor or fluid is the transparent gelatinous material filling the eyeball just behind the lens.
This watery fluid makes an ideal specimen for forensic analysis of alcohol because of the isolated location of the sampling site, that is, the remoteness of the eyes from the gut, thus minimizing the risk of contamination with microorganisms or diffusion of alcohol from the stomach.
The sampling and analysis of alcohol in vitreous humor VH is therefore highly recommended as a complement to taking blood samples for toxicological analysis and specimens of VH can be obtained without making a full autopsy. Comparing the concentration of alcohol in VH with the blood-alcohol concentration allows a check on whether postmortem synthesis of alcohol in the blood samples needs to be considered.
Good agreement has been observed for the concentrations of alcohol determined in VH retrieved from both eyeballs. Experience has shown that VH is more resistant to putrefactive changes than peripheral blood samples especially in highly traumatic deaths, e.
When there is extensive trauma to the body, the spread of bacteria from the alimentary canal to various parts of the vascular system is much more likely. Under these circumstances, sampling and analysis of VH becomes virtually essential to allow making a reliable interpretation of the prevailing blood-alcohol concentration at the time of death.
Moreover, it remains feasible to sample VH for analysis of alcohol when the corpse has become moderately decomposed. Finding a negative concentration of alcohol in VH and an elevated BAC strongly suggests that alcohol has been produced in the blood after death. Figure 2 shows a scatter plot of the concentrations of alcohol in VH and in femoral venous blood in samples from 56 autopsies.
The negligible intercept 0. The regression coefficient of 1. Figure 2 Scatter plot showing the relationship between the concentration of alcohol in femoral venous blood and vitreous humor in 56 autopsy cases The proper role of VH as a biological specimen for alcohol analysis in postmortem toxicology is to compare results with the BAC and thus to corroborate the presence of alcohol in the body at the time of death.
VH is also the most useful specimen for alcohol analysis whenever embalmed bodies are examined. Embalming fluids contain, among other things, formalin and also various alcohols mainly methanol.
The total volume of urine in the bladder should be measured and an aliquot ml taken for toxicological analysis.
Sodium fluoride is less soluble in water than potassium fluoride. Drugs and their metabolites are excreted in the urine and are present in higher concentrations than in the peripheral blood. The normal rate of urine production is 1mlmin-1 60 ml h-1but diuresis is enhanced after drinking alcohol especially when the BAC curve is rising.A slang term for a meeting or series of meetings in which participants attempt to discover what went wrong with a failed project.
For example, if a marketing campaign does not increase sales of a product, the company may conduct a post mortem to .
Nov 09, · Greg has his day in court for running over and killing a street gang member right before his own beating, and a second crime scene replica is found--this /10(). Post-mortem photography is so interesting, particularly the earlier Victorian examples.
I am currently working in a museum, and came across an example of posthumous portraiture today, check it out. May 07, · Directed by Peter Weller. With Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jesse Spencer.
The team treats a fellow doctor wary of their skills/10(K). The Art of the Post-Mortem It has a bunch of names — the After-Action Review, the Critical. The latest Tweets from Post Mortem Podcast (@PostMortemMG). Master of Horror, Mick Garris, interviews the best creatives in the genre every-other-Wednesday on Blumhouse!
Produced by Mick Garris & @joerussotweets. Los Angeles, CA.