In a recent turn of events, the remains of the late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, were exhumed by a combined team of the Nigeria Police Force and health officials. The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed this development, stating that plans are underway to commence an autopsy on the singer’s remains. In light of these events, it’s crucial to shed light on what an autopsy entails.
What Is an Autopsy?
An autopsy is a meticulous and thorough medical examination of a person’s body and its organs after death. Its primary objective is to determine the cause of death. Here, we will delve into the various steps involved in this investigative process.
1. External Examination
The first step in any forensic autopsy is the external examination of the body. A forensic pathologist conducts a detailed examination of the body’s exterior, meticulously recording physical characteristics. Measurements and weight are also taken during this stage.
2. Internal Examination
To access the internal organs, the pathologist must open the body. This involves making a ‘Y’ incision—the arms of the ‘Y’ extend from each shoulder to the bottom of the breastbone, with the tail reaching from the sternum to the pubic bone. This deep incision extends through the chest’s rib cage and completely through the abdominal wall.
3. Viewing the Internal Organs
Following the ‘Y’ incision, the ribs are sawn off to expose the internal organs. The sternal plate or anterior chest wall is cut away to reveal the organs underneath, including the lungs, heart, liver, stomach, large intestine, and small intestine.
4. Removing the Organs
The most common method for organ removal is the Rokitansky method, where all organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and spleen, are removed as a single block, StechiteGist Media learned. These organs are then dissected individually, with the forensic pathologist collecting small tissue samples for further microscopic examination.
Removing the brain requires making an incision from one ear to the other at the back of the scalp. The scalp is cut and separated from the skull, allowing the removal of the top of the skull using a vibrating saw. The brain is then gently lifted out of the cranial vault. It is either cut fresh or placed in a formalin solution for future analysis, with the consent of the Coroner and senior next of kin.
6. Examining the Organs
With the exception of the intestines and stomach, all organs are weighed. The intestines are drained in a sink to remove undigested food and feces, and the stomach’s contents are examined.
7. Returning Organs to the Body
After the examination, organs are typically returned to the body, except for small tissue fragments collected for microscopic analysis., StechitGist media learned. Sometimes absorbent filler material is used to replace organs that are not returned. The Coroner and senior next of kin are informed of any retained organs or tissue fragments for their preference regarding return or respectful disposal.
8. Sewing up the Body
Once the examination is complete, and the organs are returned or disposed of as per the Coroner’s and senior next of kin’s wishes, the post-mortem technician sews up the body, including the Y incision and the head.
In conclusion, an autopsy is a thorough and systematic process aimed at uncovering the cause of death. Each step is conducted meticulously to ensure an accurate examination of the deceased individual. While it may seem intricate, autopsies play a vital role in uncovering the truth behind mysterious or unexpected deaths, providing closure to grieving families, and aiding in the pursuit of justice.