Tuesday, 23 January 2007


In October 2006. the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (still called NCEPOD) produced a report into the quality of autopsies carried out on behalf of the Coroner (in England and Wales). 25% of autopsies were considered to be poor or unnacceptable - a lamentable situation.

The Royal College of Pathologists have produced guidelines for autopsy
, and a series of guidelines for various autopsy scenarios.

These scenarios cover such situations as a suspected sudden cardiac death, but it should be noted that these are only a guide, and that each case should be considered on its merits, and that the autopsy should be guided to address the issues relevant to each individual case.

Wikipedia also gives an overview of autopsy, whilst an excellent website produced by the University of Leicester (UK) creates case studies to work through, under the guise of a 'Virtual autopsy'. There is also a section on 'death', and a list of 'causes of death by rate', providing further links to specific causes of death.

The National Library of Health (USA) 'Visible Proofs' exhibition website has some good autopsy related resources, with interviews with Medical Examiners and autopsy movie clips.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Some excellent new anatomy and anthropology resources ...


Anatomy teaching has changed over the years, from extensive cadaver-based sessions, to the study of prosections, and more recently, computer-based learning etc.

There are many excellent web based anatomy resources, and some of the best include movie clips and examples of dissected specimens.

Wikipedia provides a useful starting point for general and regional anatomy, with a description of, for example, the anatomy of the neck (of vital importance when considering a 'diagnosis' of strangulation).

The University of Wyoming has an excellent skeletal anatomy resource, with Quick Time movie clips of bones, whilst the Wright School of Medicine, Dayton (USA) has an excellent Quick Time resource including selected dissections.

The Lumen dissector illustrates human dissection, and has an online 'quiz' on anatomical structures (Learn'em) and an excellent cross sectional anatomy resource.

The University of Colorado (USA) has a selection of animated 3D sequences of structures, whilst the University of Michigan has video clips of regional dissections, including that of the anterior neck. An animated illustration of the structures of the larynx can also be found on the 'Anatomia' site (University of Toronto, Canada).

For the 'old school' anatomy students, the 'antique' Gray's anatomy has also been re-produced online, whilst the excellent 39th Edition can also be accessed online to those who have bought the book.

Forensic Anthropology

Several sites provide clear and well illustrated resources for forensic anthropology, including 'Osteointeractive', from the University of Utah (USA) which has a forensic anthropology section.

Paleopathology, including clear images of bone injuries (with
movable images of skulls with gunshot wounds) is presented by the University of Wyoming (USA).

Forensic Dentistry

For those interested in dental anatomy and forensic dentistry, Forensic Dentistry Online is the best resource on the web.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Welcome to forensic medicine resources ...

Having hosted an educational website (www.forensicmed.co.uk) for medical students and pathology trainees on forensic medicine and pathology for several years, I thought it was about time to enter the world of bloggers ...

As I discover interesting resources on the web, I will post them on this blog, and would encourage visitors to comment on them, and share their own sites or items of interest!

With so much information available, I will try to be selective, and provide links to the most accurate and 'evidence based' sources (as far as is possible!), and would urge visitors to do the same.

Forensic medicine and pathology are fascinating subjects, and encompas every conceivable branch of medicine, where there are attending legal issues, and so the scope of this blog will necessarily be wide ranging. I hope that you will find these posts of use ... happy reading!

An excellent introduction to forensic science and medicine can be found at the National Library of Medicine (USA) 'Visible Proofs' exhibition website, which includes galleries of images and many educational resources including radio broadcasts and interviews with practitioners.