Sure, you may watch a lot of TV crime dramas, but that doesn't mean you're ready to put on the gloves and perform an autopsy yourself. Take Dr. G's quiz to see how much you know about forensics.
Question 1 of 14
A body is brought into the lab with a gunshot wound to the head. Investigators can't determine whether it was suicide or murder. Before beginning the exam, what's the first thing you should do?
... First things first: You better review the facts of the case gathered by field investigators before getting started.
Question 2 of 14
Next up, the external exam. Why is it imperative to perform an external exam on a victim of a possible murder?
... An external exam helps determine how the deceased interacted with other people and/or their environment before death.
Question 3 of 14
What type of trace evidence can be collected from the body during an external exam?
... Examples of trace evidence include fibers, hair, soil and fingernail clippings, which are often removed to test for DNA under the nails.
Question 4 of 14
A suicide note is found. What one criticial clue should you look for to help determine if this victim took his or her own life?
... Look for a contact gunshot wound, suggesting there was gun-to-skin contact.
Question 5 of 14
If a tight-contact gunshot wound is found, what should you look for to confirm the case was most likely a suicide?
... In the case of a suicide, you will likely find all of the above: the victim's fingerprints on the gun, human tissue on the barrel of the gun, and gun residue on the bone beneath the gunshot wound.
Question 6 of 14
A man dies after complaining of a terrible headache. His health history reveals drug use, diabetes and high blood pressure. Based on circumstances, what can you suggest as the possible cause of death?
... Based on the decedent's history, the cause of death could be any of the above: drug overdose, heart disease or stroke.
Question 7 of 14
The internal autopsy reveals a bladder terribly distended with urine. What could this point to?
... The victim was in a coma for a period of time before dying. This is often seen in drug overdose, but it's not definitive.
Question 8 of 14
Before the brain is examined during the autopsy, what needs to be done to it?
... First things first: Weigh that brain.
Question 9 of 14
During the examination of the brain, you notice a subarachnoid hemorrhage concentrated at the base with no evidence of internal scalp contusion. What might this suggest?
... This victim did not die of a drug overdose, but a brain aneurysm.
Question 10 of 14
What is the most obvious physical symptom of bleeding brain aneurysm?
... Those incredibly severe headaches you've been having? They're also the sign of a bleeding brain aneurysm. You might want to see a doctor.
Question 11 of 14
A man has a seizure, falls into a coma and dies. Doctors say he died from a heart attack caused by amphetamine use, which they found traces of in his urine. What organ do you focus on during the autopsy.
... They say home is where the heart is. It turns out, the heart is also the right place to start this examination, since doctors suggest he died from a heart attack.
Question 12 of 14
In cases where it's suggested that the death is amphetamine-related, what should you be looking for?
... If amphetamine use is the culprit, you'll want to look for damage brought on by lack of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Question 13 of 14
During the autopsy, you detect a narrow artery that is blocked. What might this suggest?
... The blockage suggests that the victim may have a chronic disease, and that this death may not have been amphetamine-related.
Question 14 of 14
Because the hospital found traces of amphetamines in the victim's urine -- even though that isn't what led to his death -- what's your next step?
... In this case, you'll want to retest the urine to confirm the hospital's test were false positives. Then test his admission blood to see if he was under the influence of amphetamines.
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