Postmortem Toxicology - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128151631

Postmortem Toxicology

1st Edition

Challenges and Interpretive Considerations

Authors: Timothy Rohrig
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128151631
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st February 2019
Page Count: 300
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Postmortem Toxicology addresses the various aspects of the practice of forensic postmortem toxicology from a viewpoint of factors which must be taken into consideration for proper interpretation of the toxicological result, not in a vacuum but in a more holistic and global sense.

The volume examines pre-analytical factors, storage containers/conditions, prior medical interventions and therapy, along with information from the scene investigation and anatomical findings. Also addressed are complicating factors for the interpretation of the toxicological results due to postmortem decomposition, embalming artifacts and the postmortem redistribution of drugs. Tolerance is also discussed as an aid to interpreting results from a habitual/chronic user of medications and/or drugs of abuse.

The book is geared towards the current practitioner, however, it is written to be used as a valuable reference for a graduate or post-graduate level courses in forensic toxicology or forensic pathology.

Key Features

  • Presents a holistic approach to the interpretation of toxicology results
  • Covers pre-analytical factors, storage containers/conditions, prior medical interventions and therapy and much more
  • Written for the current practitioner, but an excellent resource for graduate level students training in the field of forensic toxicology


Forensic practitioners; specifically forensic toxicologists and pathologists. Graduate level students training in the field of forensic toxicology and/or a supplemental resource for a pathologist doing a fellowship in forensic pathology

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    2. Pre-Analytical Considerations
    3. Prior Medical Therapy and Medical Intervention
    4. Analytical Artifacts and Organ/Tissue Retrieval
    5. Scene Investigation
    6. Anatomical Findings
    7. Unexpected Drug/Metabolites Endogenous Compounds
    8. Drug Instability
    9. Embalming Artifacts
    10. Decomposition Products
    11. Post Mortem Clinical Chemistries
    12. Post Mortem Formation of Alcohol and Other Compounds
    13. Post Mortem Redistribution
    14. Interpretive Considerations of Post Mortem Blood Concentrations
    15. Tolerance


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© Academic Press 2019
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Timothy Rohrig

Dr. Rohrig is currently the Director of the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center. He also holds the positions of Director, Forensic Science Laboratories and Chief Toxicologist at the Center. Prior to joining the Center he was Director of Laboratories at the Center for Forensic Sciences, Onondaga County, NY. Dr. Rohrig was previously, Vice President - Director of Toxicology of Osborn Laboratories, and Chief Toxicologist - Laboratory Director for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Oklahoma. During his tenure in Oklahoma, he was a consultant to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory. Other previous positions include Toxicologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of West Virginia and Chief Toxicologist for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's Forensic Science Laboratory. Dr. Rohrig holds the academic position of Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita and Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science at Wichita State University. He is also currently Visiting Professor of Forensic Toxicology at the University of Lincoln, in the United Kingdom. Dr. Rohrig is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the past Chairman and Secretary of the Toxicology Section. In 2009, he was honored to receive the Rolla N. Harger Award for outstanding contributions to the field of Forensic Toxicology. He was the past President of the Southwestern Association of Toxicologists. Dr. Rohrig was the President (2006) and past Vice President and past Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors for the Society of Forensic Toxicologists [SOFT]. He is also a member of several other professional organizations; including the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists. Dr. Rohrig sits on SOFT's Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault Committee, chairing the Technical Guidance Committee. He currently serves on the Wichita Area SANE/SART Advisory Committee, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center and Sedgwick County Methamphetamine Lab Kids Initiative Task Force. Dr. Rohrig was previously a member and Vice Chair of the New York Crime Laboratory Advisory Committee. Dr. Rohrig's current research interests include postmortem distribution of drugs, interpretive postmortem toxicology, effects of embalming and decomposition on postmortem toxicological results and the effects of drugs on human performance.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Center, Wichita, Kansas, USA

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