Essential Techniques in Certain Decedent Populations

  • Kim A. Collins


The autopsy has been and continues to be the gold standard for quality assurance in medicine. As new scientific and medical techniques are discovered, they do not replace the autopsy but instead enhance this valued medical procedure. Not all patients are the same, and not all postmortem examinations will be the same. Some cases present definite challenges for the autopsy pathologist. Based on the decedent, past medical history, family history, and social history, certain ancillary studies and/or special techniques should be undertaken to allow accurate certification of the cause of death. That being said, the purpose of the autopsy is more than determining why an individual died. It is also to identify any underlying congenital, hereditary, or contributory conditions or diseases, as well as to contribute to epidemiological knowledge, improve public health, and prevent injury and disease. This chapter will focus on decedent patient populations that often require a different postmortem approach.


Vitreous chemistry Eating disorder Anabolic steroids Toxicology Postmortem microbiology SIRS Sepsis Cause of death Elder Decubitus ulcer Anorexia Bulimia BMI Pathology training 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim A. Collins
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Newberry Pathology AssociatesNewberryUSA
  2. 2.Sharing Hope South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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