Autopsy Plan
By: Joyce Lee, Samar Hafeez, Neelam Patel, Vanaja
What is autopsy?
 Examining a deceased body to determine the
cause of death
 Autopsies are usually performed when
someone suddenly dies and the cause is
 Description of body is made and features are
 Two types of autopsies:
External Examination
 Body is sent to medical
examiners or hospital in a
body bag or evidence sheet
Body will be refrigerated if
autopsy is not performed
New body bag is used for
each person
Evidence sheets are an
alternate way to transport
The sheet covers the body
while it is moved
Body is being weighed
External Examination
 Dieners (morgue attendants ) transport the
 Seals of the body bag are broken
 Body is photographed
 Clues found directly on the body (ex. Hair
strands) are collected and examined
 Body is x-rayed for any internal injuries
 Body is weighed and measured
External Examination
 At this time, all the general information of the
deceased is gathered:
Hair colour
Eye colour
Internal Examination of Body
 First, a Y-incision is made
across the chest and down to
the belly button
Skin and flesh are peeled back
with a scalpel
Larynx, esophagus, arteries,
ligaments, spinal cord, bladder,
rectum are examined
Each organ is weighed and
Major blood vessels are also
Internal Examination of Brain
 Examiner makes a cut from one ear to the
other across the top of the head
 Scalp is pulled away from the head
 The skull is cut with an electric saw
Electric Saw
After Autopsy
 If the body is needed for a funeral, organs are
placed back in and the body is sewn up
 The process takes about 4 hours to complete
Autopsy is done if the death is unknown
(most homicides)
 Family must agree to the procedure
Case History
 Male
 Age: 60
 Caucasian
 5’11 ¾
 180 pounds
 Death: 8/27/2006 6:10am
 Smoker
 Likes to party
 Suddenly fainted at party
 Went into cardiac arrest
Things to Focus on in this Autopsy
 Death due to cardiac arrest
 Possible Contributing Factors to Death:
 High blood pressure
 Other Potential Contributing Factors:
 Drugs
 Alcohol
 Autopsy Plan
 Follow steps for external and internal examination
 Heart should be examined closely for abnormalities and
evidence of heart attack
 Coronary arteries should be examined for plaque build-up
 Blood and urine should be examined for drugs