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Diagnostic Pathology: Forensic Autopsy

  • Book

  • March 2021
  • Elsevier Health Science
  • ID: 5018934
This expert volume in the Diagnostic Pathology series is an excellent point-of-care resource for practitioners at all levels of experience and training. Specifically designed to assist hospital pathologists and assistants, forensic pathology fellows, pathology residents, and medical examiners, it provides a comprehensive, authoritative discussion of key topics in forensic autopsy. Richly illustrated and easy to use, Diagnostic Pathology: Forensic Autopsy is a one-stop reference on the performance of procedures in this challenging field, ideal as a day-to-day reference or as a reliable training resource.

- Provides expert guidance on accurate diagnoses of the findings and patterns encountered in the forensic autopsy, as well as cause of death procedures

- Covers key topics such as opioid and drug deaths, including new drugs and their toxicology; deaths and investigations in custody; infant and child deaths, including SIDS and overlaying; and infant and child neck trauma, including shaken baby syndrome

- Contains the necessary information to aid in the performance of both routine and complicated forensic autopsies

- Features hundreds of high-quality images throughout, including full-color illustrations and clinical and gross pathology photographs-all carefully annotated to highlight the most diagnostically significant factors

- Features a templated, highly formatted design; concise, bulleted text; key facts in each chapter; and an extensive index for easy reference

- Offers authoritative, readable coverage for those who need to learn and understand important aspects of forensic autopsy, including coroners, medico-legal death investigators, and legal investigators - Includes the enhanced eBook version, which allows you to search all text, figures, and references on a variety of devices

Table of Contents

Diagnostic Pathology: Forensic Autopsy 1e

Mary Ann Sens, MD, PhD and Rhome Hughes, MD, MS

Introduction to Forensic Autopsy

Hospital vs. Forensic Autopsy Overview

History of Forensic Autopsy

Death Investigation: Systems and Persons

PreAutopsy Considerations

Report of Deaths

Scene Investigations

Medical Record Review

Examination Types

External Examination




Clothing and Personal Effects

Medical Intervention

Postmortem Changes

External Examination of the Body

Evidence of Injury

Internal Examination

Overview of External Examination

Cardiovascular System

Respiratory System

Hepatobiliary System

Gastrointestinal System

Genitourinary System

Endocrine System

Hematopoietic System


Head and Central Nervous System


Blunt Force Injuries Overview

Findings in Traumatic Brain Injury

Patterned Injuries

Transportation-Related Deaths

Penetrating Injuries Overview

Gunshot Wounds

Sharp Force Wounds

Drug-Related Deaths

Thermal Injuries

Thermal Injuries

Asphyxial Deaths

Carbon Monoxide Deaths


Environmental Exposure


Animal Predation

Pediatric Deaths

Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Infants

Accidental Deaths

Nonaccidental Injuries in Infants and Children


Sudden Natural Deaths

Cardiovascular Disease

The Negative Autopsy

Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood

Sudden and Unexpected Death in Adults

Seizure-Related Deaths

Pregnancy-Associated Deaths

Deaths Associated with Medical Procedures

Chronic Ethanol Abuse

Miscellaneous Sudden Natural Deaths

Special Topics

In-Custody Deaths

Excited Delirium Syndrome

Starvation and Neglect

Sexual Assault

Acute Psychiatric and Stress-Related Deaths

Seratonin Syndrome and Other Drug-Induced Disorders

Ancillary Procedures

Special Dissections

Forensic Anthropology

Toxicology Testing

Microbiology Testing



Interpretive Toxicology

Alcohol Metabolism and Testing


Methamphetamine and Amphetamine

Heroin and Morphine

Prescription Opiates/Opiods



Ethylene Glycol

Non-Ethanol Volatiles


Heavy Metals


The Autopsy Report and The Death Certificate

Manner of Death

Cause of Death

Manner of Death; NAME Guidelines

The Autopsy Report

The Death Certificate


Mary Ann Sens Professor and Chair of Pathology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, North Dakota. Mary Ann Sens, MD, PhD is Professor and Chair of Pathology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences and has been in medical practice for more than 20 years. She has served as Executive Vice President, National Association of Medical Examiners from January 2016 to the present. She has served as Coroner, Grand Forks County, ND, September from 2003 to the present. She was awarded a PhD in Physical Inorganic Chemistry from University of South Carolina-Columbia and an MD from Medical University of South Carolina. Rhome Hughes Assistant Professor of Pathology, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, North Dakota. Rhome Hughes, M.D. is a forensic pathology specialist and is board certified in both Anatomic & Clinical Pathology and Forensic Pathology. He is currently Assistant Professor of Pathology at University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He currently serves as Deputy Coroner, Grand Forks County.