Second autopsies by Final Diagnosis, Inc. can provide reassurances on the validity of an initial autopsy report. That said, second autopsies offer unique challenges. They can occasionally uncover missed trauma, disease, or poisoning (see image). The second autopsy pathologist must also contend with the artifacts of the earlier dissection. Vital information that was evident to the original pathologist should be obtained if feasible. For example, the relationships between organs, reactions like bleeding, and the original appearances of these organs should be clarified. A pathologist that proceeds with a second autopsy in a vacuum is asking for trouble. Artifacts such as blood oozing from vessels can lead to the appearance of trauma when it may not have initially existed. Critical diagnostic tissues may be also be absent given the need by the original pathologist to either test or retain evidentiary specimens. The physical evidence which can be seen on the first autopsy is significantly diminished in the second autopsy. It is important that the private autopsy pathologist spends time discussing the value (or not) of proceeding with an autopsy at any juncture.
December 10, 2020 at 2:07 am
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