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May 26, 2010
Blood Collection from Deceased.
by: Anonymous

There are numerous ways to obtain blood from cadavers. Commonly a femoral puncture is done. To locate the femoral vessels to insert the needle there are landmarks you place your fingers to establish the line of the femoral vessels.

If a deceased is obese and the needle is unable to be inserted deep enough a femoral cutdown is done. Other blood samples can be obtained from the neck, (this not advisable generally in coronial cases due to creation of artifacts) and also intracardiac sampling obtaining blood by inserting the syringe directly into the heart.

These methods are suitable if the body is not a medicolegal case and can be utilised for screening for viruses if the deceased is a corneal donor and not having an autopsy.
At autopsy the best sampling method during the autopsy and to prevent contamination of the specimen is to locate the iliac vessels and tie off the vessel or clamp it in two places andtake the specimen with a syringe.

Body cavity blood lying in the bottom of the abdominal cavity can be utilized for general toxicology. If sampling for blood alcohol cavity blood shouldnotbeused as bacterial contamination from faeces for example can promote decomposition of the specimen and fermentation of the blood causing an inacurate blood alcohol levels.

Sampling of babies that have for example died from cot death and you are doing routing toxicology the deceased babies is placed on the post mortem table with the head hanging over the edge and after swabbing the area a needle is inserted in the anterior fontanelles.

Hope this assists you.

Glenn Wilcher

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