Is also known as necropsies or post mortem examination. Derived from the Greek word \”autopsia\” meaning \”to see with one’s own eyes\”. It is a procedure wherein anatomic pathologists dissect corpses to determine the cause of death and to add to medical knowledge. The autopsy begins with a complete external examination. The weight and height of the body are recorded, and identifying marks such as scars and tattoos also are recorded.
Postmortem examination :
• Examination of body after death.
• By law-when death is sudden or occurs within 48 hours of admission.
• Organs and tissues are examined to establish the exact cause of death and to assist in the accumulation of statistical data.
• The internal examination begins with the creation of a Y or U- shaped incision from both shoulders joining over the sternum and continuing down to the pubic bone.
• The skin and underlying tissues are then separated to expose the rib cage and abdominal cavity.
• The front of the rib cage is removed to expose the neck and chest organs.
• Small samples are typically taken from all organs to be made into slide preparations for examination under a microscope.
• At the end of an autopsy, the incisions made in the body are sewn closed.
• The organs may be returned to the body or may be retained for teaching, research, and diagnostic purposes.
1. Medico-Legal Autopsy or Forensic or coroner’s autopsies: Those ordered by coroner for sudden and suspicions death
2. Anatomical or academic autopsies
3. Clinical or Pathological autopsies
· Determine the cause of death
· The state of health of the person before he or she died,
· To check any medical diagnosis and treatment before death was appropriate
Role of health professional:
· Obtain consent
· Explain the reasons if the death is caused by accident, suicide, homicide, illegal therapeutic practice the coroner must be notified.
· After autopsy hospital cannot retain any tissue or organ without the permission of the person who consented.