The future of post mortem examinations
Over 200,000 deaths each year require further medical or legal investigation and the majority result in invasive post-mortem procedures, adding further stress at an already emotional time.
But in over 70% of cases, there is an alternative.
An autopsy, also known as a post-mortem, is the examination of a person who has died to determine the cause of a sudden death. During a traditional post-mortem, the deceased body is opened and the organs removed for examination. Although this is always carried out with respect for the deceased, many relatives find the process extremely distressing, but an alternative does exist.
Unlike a traditional autopsy, which involves dissecting the body, a Digital Autopsy potentially eliminates the need for the scalpel. Instead the process is carried out on a computer, in two stages:
First the body is scanned using a CT scanner, which takes less than ten minutes.
The data from the scan is then processed to create a detailed 3D whole body reconstruction of the body. Specially trained radiologists and pathologists can then examine the visual to look for clues as to the cause of death.