Forensic pathology
Forensic autopsy report
Final autopsy diagnosis (FAD)

Topic Completed: 1 January 2013

Revised: 26 August 2019

Copyright: (c) 2003-2019,, Inc.

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Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Tops TL. Final autopsy diagnosis (FAD). website. Accessed February 18th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • In outline form, the FAD summarizes the pertinent autopsy findings, categories may include: Cause of Death / COD (natural or unnatural), natural diseases or pre-existing conditions, evidence of medical / surgical therapy, postmortem changes, identifying body marks, and toxicology
COD (natural or unnatural)
  • Complications of hemorrhagic stroke, drowning, asphyxia by hanging, etc.
Natural diseases or pre-existing conditions
  • State any additional microscopic diagnoses here
  • Hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, type II diabetes, etc.
Evidence of medical / surgical therapy
  • Cardiac pacemaker, internal fixation of left tibia, CABG, etc.
Postmortem changes
  • Decomposition, marbling, skin slippage, etc.
Identifying body marks
  • Tattoos on the arms, forearms, right calf, etc.
  • Can be broken down by volatiles (ethanol in blood and vitreous fluid) and drugs (medications or illicit drugs found in blood or urine)
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