postmortem examination

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inspection or investigation, especially as a means of diagnosing disease.
breast examination in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as inspection and palpation of the breasts and related areas.
mental status examination a standardized procedure to gather data to determine etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment for patients with mental disorders.
pelvic examination physical assessment of the internal pelvic organs. It includes inspection with a speculum, a papanicolaou smear, bimanual palpation, and a rectovaginal examination.
physical examination examination of the bodily state of a patient by ordinary physical means, as inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation.
postmortem examination autopsy.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(aw'top-sē), Avoid the mispronunciation autop'sy.
1. An examination of the organs of a dead body to determine the cause of death or to study the pathologic changes present. Synonym(s): necropsy
2. In the terminology of the ancient Greek school of empirics, the intentional reproduction of an effect, event, or circumstance that occurred in the course of a disease, and observation of its influence in ameliorating or aggravating the patient's symptoms.
[G. autopsia, seeing with one's own eyes]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

postmortem examination

The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


A postmortem examination of a body, which helps determine cause of death and identify any diseases that had not been detected while the patient was alive, or which confirms the presence of conditions diagnosed before the patient died.

Autopsy types 
• Biopsy only—A minimalist postmortem examination in which the prosector examines the organs, but only samples small fragments (biopsies) for histologic examination. 
• Chest only—An autopsy in which only the lungs and heart are examined; findings in a chest only autopsy are used to ID an occluding thrombus in the coronary arteries, massive patientE, or evaluate a person for compensation under the Black Lung Compensation act of 1969.
• Complete—An autopsy in which the thoracic, abdominal and cranial cavities are examined. 
• Head only—An autopsy in which the pathology of interest is presumed to reside entirely in the cranial cavity. 
• No head—An autopsy examining the chest and abdominal cavity without cranial cavity.

Infections (potentially fatal) that may pass to prosectors
Blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, diphtheria, erysipeloid, HBV (30% of seroconversion with infected blood exposure), HCV (up to 10% risk), HIV (0.3% risk), lymphocytic choriomeningitis, rabies, streptococci, TB (exposures as brief as 10 minutes have resulted in transmission; 10% of Finnish pathologists in active PM practice have occupational TB; autopsy-transmitted outbreaks of TB have occurred in NY, LA, Chicago and Arkansas), tularaemia, viral haemorrhagic fevers (Marburg, Ebola, Lassa), yellow fever. Two cases of possible transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to histology technicians (not autopsy prosectors) have been reported.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

postmortem examination

Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Of the 3137 postmortem examination records analyzed, 27.41% were females (mean age = 32.95 years; SD = 20.43 years) and 72.59% were males (mean age = 37.42 years; SD = 16.78 years).
(6,16) More than 80% of the surveyed institutions include some material regarding postmortem examination in their coursework.
On postmortem examination, severe congestion and edema of the lungs with blood-tinged pleural (250 mL) and pericardial (75 mL) effusion were evident.
The postmortem examination of Yamanokuchi's body, which had 27 stab wounds, has also apparently finished.
The mutilated bodies, some still with ropes tied on their necks, were moved to Makindu Hospital mortuary and then to Nairobi for postmortem examination.
KASUR: A postmortem examination conducted on 8-year-old Zainab, whose body was recovered from a trash heap in Kasur days after she went missing, suggests she may have been raped before she was strangled to death.According to reports, District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Medico-Legal Officer (MLO) Dr Quratulain Attique stated that the examination revealed the minor girl had died of strangulation.
AN ELDERLY couple who were found dead at their home this week died of natural causes, a postmortem examination has concluded.
The bodies were shifted to ASH for postmortem examination.
Police sources said the postmortem examination was yet to be done.
A postmortem examination failed to reveal the cause of Ruby's death, but it is believed she had been hit on the back of the head and strangled.
A postmortem examination revealed Mr Singh died from severe head injuries inflicted by "repeated and multiple forceful blows from a heavy blunt instrument, likely to be a hammer".
A postmortem examination revealed that Hutchence died from suffocation caused by hanging and a coroner returned a suicide verdict - saying that he was depressed over the custody battle being fought out by Yates and Geldof over their three daughters.