The first step in the process is to gather bodily specimens. Blood, urine, hair, and saliva are frequent body specimens collected in the event of a natural or accidental death. A forensic pathologist collects the specimen in evidence containers. The chain of custody is rigorously maintained during the collection, storage, transit to the laboratory, and other processes since it is vitally crucial in court proceedings. After the material has been securely delivered to the laboratory, tests are performed to identify the presence of certain toxins.
Blood is generally the first samples obtained to determine the levels of toxins in the bloodstream. It not only assists in determining the amount of poison consumed, but also in estimating the poison’s effects and the time of death. Samples should be collected before administering any medication or treatment . If the specimen is collected after medication or treatments, the outcome of the toxicological report may be significantly influenced. The time of death is also important in blood testing since the degree of decomposition might alter the results.
urine is one of the most reliable samples for detecting the presence of drugs and toxins in the body. Although they do not provide much information regarding the timing of consumption, they do show that the chemical was consumed some time ago.
Since the liver is the organ that processes toxins, it is the tissue that is most frequently examined for poison in the body. Because poison and medications frequently concentrate in the liver, it is simpler to detect their presence.
When looking for long-term exposure, a hair sample is used to determine toxicity. Concentrations of most toxins or medications can be detected in the hair shaft since they are ingested.
This is also a possibility if an autopsy was not conducted soon after death or if the blood, liver, or stomach sample would not have been suitable for testing.