Coroner’s case

Today was an interesting day. Pathology turned out to be pretty interesting! Spent the first half of the day at the mortuary. The prof first told us about the cases for the day.

  1. A 18-year-old Indian girl who was found hung with a sari around her neck. She came to Singapore 4 years ago and recently got married in an arranged marriage. Kinda got a gruesome shock when the prof showed us the photo of how the deceased was found. Still hanging. I think the image is going to linger in my mind for quite a bit.
  2. An elderly lady with background of neurofibromatosis and a neurofibroma at the cervical area. Found by the maid unconscious at home with a half empty Dettol bottle. She stayed in the hospital for several days with severe metabolic acidosis.
  3. Another elderly lady was found dead at home, strangely with her head though a foldable chair.

We got to observe an autopsy of a 31-year-old Indian gentleman with chest pain who collapsed suddenly. Turns out cause of death was acute myocardial infarction, with an atheroma in the left anterior descending artery. There was evidence of previous myocardial infarction as there was fibrosis of the myocardium. It was quite an interesting process though, to watch the pathologist dissect the body and extract the organs and slice through them to look for any growths. I’ve always wondered how they performed autopsies and hide the scars. Pretty smart for them to do a Y shaped incision for the thorax and abdomen; 2 incisions behind the ear and a straight incision for the torso. It was quite scary to see them flip the scalp and cut through the skull to take out the brain. But it was also fascinating looking at the brain cos it really looked at what we see in textbooks.

Second half of the day was spent at patho tutorial. 2 lectures combined into one so we have half a free day tomorrow! The interesting part was when the pathologist went through the cases and we kinda discussed whether it is culpable homicide or murder. It’s just so weird how people die…. Thin skull rule was interesting cos there was really a guy who died after a few punches and fall to the ground and he really had a thin skull (1mm).

I like postings with interesting stories. 🙂


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