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Norristown, PA, United States

Goodman N.R.,Office of the Chester County Coroner | Hofman W.I.,Montgomery County Coroners Office
American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology

Judaism has many traditions, customs, rules, and laws, which relate to the proper and ethical disposition of a decedent when a Medical Examiner/ Coroner is involved. In almost all United States jurisdictions, statutes mandate the need to determine the cause and manner of death (Coroners- Act PA Pl. 323, num. 130, section 1237). This article is a review of some religious writings, legal precedents, and forensic authorities, which may help to assist the Medical Examiner/Coroner when confronted with a Jewish decedent. There can be flexibility as to the extent that such forensic studies can and should be performed. The final consent and interpretation of the rules, laws, traditions, and customs will rest with the courts and local rabbinic authority. © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Schaff J.E.,Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory | Karas R.P.,Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory | Marinetti L.,Montgomery County Coroners Office
Journal of Analytical Toxicology

In cases of death by inert gas asphyxiation, it can be difficult to obtain toxicological evidence supporting assignment of a cause of death. Because of its low mass and high diffusivity, and its common use as a carrier gas, helium presents a particular challenge in this respect. We describe a rapid and simple gas chromatography-thermal conductivity detection method to qualitatively screen a variety of postmortem biological specimens for the presence of helium. Application of this method is demonstrated with three case examples, encompassing an array of different biological matrices. © The Author [2012]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Antonides H.,Montgomery County Coroners Office | Marinetti L.,Montgomery County Coroners Office
Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Significant ethanol production in a urine sample is not a common phenomenon that occurs in postmortem volatile anaylsis. Here, a 66-year-old female decedent with a history of renal failure and diabetes originally presented at the hospital as "acting funny". After expiring at the hospital, the toxicology section received both hospital and postmortem samples for analysis. Initially, only hospital blood and urine were analyzed for volatiles. The hospital blood was only positive for acetone. As a second matrix confirmation, the autopsy urine was also analyzed and found to be positive for acetone and ethanol. Upon initial examination, the urine sample had an ethanol value of 0.10 g%, which continued to increase to a peak concentration of 0.28 g%. This case study focuses on the production of ethanol in a urine sample that was analyzed over a three-month period. Also presented is a vitreous humor metabolic panel that contains glucose, creatinine, and urea nitrogen data for this case. Source

Kiely E.R.,Montgomery County Coroners Office | Antonides H.M.,Montgomery County Coroners Office
Methods in Molecular Biology

Antipsychotic drugs are becoming a larger part of the prescription drug market. In combination with-traditional indications for prescribing these drugs, new effective therapies are proving worthwhile as well. Here, a successful method for detecting both first-and second-generation antipsychotics is presented using a solid phase extraction method and LC-MS/MS detection. This method is used for many sample matrices and can also be used for detecting antidepressants, which are often prescribed in conjunction with antipsychotics. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

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