Cite this page: Tops TL. External examination . PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/forensicsautopsyexternal.html. Accessed February 18th, 2020.
- State body weight, height, age, body temperature, rigor, and lividity
Head / neck
- Describe hair color, facial hair, eye color, oral cavity, ear canals, nose, lips, and teeth
- Describe chest, abdomen, back, anus, and genitalia
- Describe upper / lower limbs, and fingernails / toenails
- Describe tattoos, ID tags, medical / surgical intervention, etc...
- Describe any defects to support cause of death (COD)
- 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)
- This section usually contains both external and internal descriptions of injury
Gunshot wounds (GSW)
- 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)
- Trace evidence collected on body (e.g., paint chips or glass), pattern contusions / abrasions, fractures, lacerations, avulsions, hemorrhage, etc.
- Cuts, incisions, defense wounds, determine the knife's sharp verses blunt end in each skin wound, depth of wound, organs affected, hemorrhage, etc.
- Minor lesions that are attributed by the mechanism or cause of death