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Forensic pathology

Forensic autopsy report

External examination


Reviewer: Terrill L. Tops, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 3 February 2013, last major update January 2013
Copyright: (c) 2003-2013, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

Overall
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● State body weight, height, age, body temperature, rigor, and lividity

Head/neck
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● Describe hair color, facial hair, eye color, oral cavity, ear canals, nose, lips, and teeth

Torso
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● Describe chest, abdomen, back, anus, and genitalia

Extremities
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● Describe upper/lower limbs, and fingernails/toenails

Miscellaneous
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● Describe tattoos, ID tags, medical/surgical intervention, etc...

Clothing
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● Describe any defects to support cause of death (COD)

Body surface
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● State anything to suggest evidence of cause of death, such as: gunshot wounds, blunt trauma, sharp force injury, illicit drug residue, anasarca, obesity, emaciation, sexual assault.


Evidence of injury (examples)

General
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● This section usually contains both external and internal descriptions of injury

Gunshot wounds (GSW)
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● List each GSW trajectory separately, determine how many entry (penetrating)/exit (perforation) wounds, range of fire, soot/stippling, trajectory, recovery of projectile(s), state in proper order of anatomic landmarks injured by each GSW, hemorrhage, etc.

Blunt force injuries from motor vehicle accident (MVA)
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● Trace evidence collected on body (e.g., paint chips or glass), pattern contusions/abrasions, fractures, lacerations, avulsions, hemorrhage, etc.

Stab wounds
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● Cuts, incisions, defense wounds, determine the knife's sharp verses blunt end in each skin wound, depth of wound, organs affected, hemorrhage, etc.

Additional injuries
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● Minor lesions that are attributed by the mechanism or cause of death

End of Forensic pathology > Forensic autopsy report > External examination


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