Autopsy: A Matter of Life and Death
This week on the Naked Scientists, we observe a post-mortem. The patient was in his seventies but the coroner ordered an autopsy because the cause of death wasn't clear. Chris Smith observes pathologist Alison Cluroe conduct the procedure as she tries to find out why the patient died and sees how this once common practice is still saving lives...
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We've been conducting autopsies for hundreds of years but they weren't commonplace and often used as a criminal punishment...
The first step in a post-mortem is to examine the patient for clues as to the cause of death. What did the pathologist find?
Dissection of the patient begins...
On the hunt to discover how the patient died, the pathologist turns to the brain...
Surprising results ensue when dissecting the patient's heart...
Next, the pathologist dissected the lungs to see whether this might hold the key to the cause of death...
The patient had a whole host of pathologies but what was the cause of death?
It sounds counter-intuitive but conducting post-mortems can help save the lives of the living...