Journal of
Clinical Pathology and Forensic Medicine

  • Abbreviation: J. Clin. Pathol. Forensic Med.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2405
  • DOI: 10.5897/JCPFM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 29

Short Communication

Is there a role for ethanol assay using alcohol dehydrogenase in a basic drugs and alcohol screen of blood following routine autopsies?

William Tormey1,2 and Tara Moore3
1Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster Cromore Road, Coleraine, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland. 2Department of Chemical Pathology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland.  3Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 March 2012
  •  Published: 31 December 2012


The external examination system of determining the cause of death as operated in Dundee, Scotland is controversial. The addition of a blood or urine specimen for drugs and alcohol processed by hospital autoanalysers will reduce error in death certification. This is even more convenient to organise with a shorter turn-around time than imaging by computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These measures may reduce the autopsy rate and ameliorate the distress of families of the deceased.


Key words: Autopsy, alcohol, death.