Radiology in the setting of a Medical Examiners Office is used to detect radiodense foreign matter in the body such as bullets, bullet jackets, surgical staples, pacemakers, orthopedic hardward and dental restorations. Many of these items are forensic evidence and are retrieved during the autopsy procedure.
Radiology is also used in the identification process of persons who are decomposed, burned, or in other ways not identified by traditional visual methods. In these cases dental radiography plays a crucial role if antemortem (before death) dental records can be obtained. If dental information is unavailable, medical radiographs (x-rays) are sought and the images are compared to radiographs taken at the Medical Examiner's Office. These techniques are utilized on a regular basis and become vitally important during a disaster where multiple unidentified bodies must be processed.
The radiology laboratory was designed to facilitate easy access to radiographic equipment without the necessity to move the body from a gurney to a table. State-of-the-art equipment includes a C-Arm Fluoroscope as well as a fixed flat plate machine and dental radiographic equipment. The dental equipment was upgraded to digital in 2007 and we expect to be fully digital in the near future.
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