Postmortem Blood Analysis and Interpretation

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Postmortem blood and other tissue samples may be used by forensic toxicologists as an aid to determine whether a deceased person might have been affected by a drug or poison at the time of death or whether the substance detected could have been directly responsible for death. Just as important is the exclusion of drugs as a potential contributor to death, for example, alcohol or drug involvement in motor vehicle collisions. It is essential that any toxicologic tests include a wide range of common drugs and poisons and any substances that the deceased may have access to. The proper interpretation of any data obtained can only be performed when possible postmortem artifacts and the available circumstances of death, medical history, and forensic pathology findings are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Forensic Sciences
EditorsMax M. Houck
Place of PublicationAmsterdam Netherlands
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780128236789
ISBN (Print)9780128236772
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Analysis
  • Autopsy
  • Blood
  • Circumstances
  • Death investigation
  • Drugs
  • Poison
  • Postmortem
  • Redistribution
  • Specimens
  • Toxicology

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