February 8-9, 11-12

Not much happened on Monday (2/8) as the only thing going on was paperwork, as usual. Tuesday was a lot more interesting. I was at the office for about an hour before there was some chatter on the radio about EMS, cardiac arrest, CPR, and then canceling EMS and a signal 9 went out, meaning someone had died. Teri got the call to go the scene a few minutes after, so we went out to the house of the decedent and Gary followed in his car. The man had obviously been dead for a little while as some decomposition had begun. We were at the house for a little over two hours, and in that time, we got all the man’s personal information (name, social, next of kin, etc.), took all the necessary pictures (I got to take a few of those and I was very proud of them), determine there was no foul play involved in the death, and removed the body from the house. After that, Teri took me to the hospital to register the man in the system.

On Wednesday I was unable to go to the office, which ended up being fine because no calls came in anyway. On Thursday I got to the office just in time to go to an autopsy (the first one I’ve seen from start to finish) with Teri for a call she had gotten the night before. The woman’s cause of death could not be determine from the circumstances, which is why an autopsy was needed. I had to put on shoe covers, a long-sleeved gown, gloves, a face mask, and glasses to protect myself from anything that might have taken flight and hit me during the autopsy. I won’t go into much gross detail, but the medical examiner was extremely helpful in explaining what he was doing and how he was examining each organ. He showed me the pieces of organs that were being sent to the lab and how those are chosen. I was able to hold part of the liver that was being sent to be further examined in the lab. After the autopsy is over, the organs were bagged and placed in the body and the body was then stitched up and was ready to be sent to the funeral home.

autopsy pic copy

The above is the best picture I could get of what I had to wear to the autopsy since obviously I can’t be up in the morgue taking selfies. This is standard of what the deputy coroner or anybody else has to wear. The pathologists and medical examiners wear similar things, but just a little more heavy duty since they are actually performing the autopsy.

No calls came in on Friday, so I spent my time fetching papers, raiding the candy jar, and running from the janitor who threatened to suck my hair into the vacuum. Everyone at the office is great to be around, and they know how to have fun while still being responsible and getting their job done. I am so incredibly happy that this whole project worked out to give me the opportunity to intern at the coroner’s office.

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