Postmortem Toxicology

Postmortem Toxicology

Challenges and Interpretive Considerations

1st Edition - February 22, 2019

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  • Author: Timothy Rohrig
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128151631
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128151648

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Postmortem Toxicology addresses the various aspects of the practice of forensic postmortem toxicology from a viewpoint of elements 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. This reference also provides explanation of the complicating conditions 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, 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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 266
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2019
  • Published: February 22, 2019
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128151631
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128151648

About the Author

Timothy Rohrig

Timothy P. Rohrig, PhD, is currently the Director of the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center. He also holds the positions of Director of the Forensic Science Laboratories and Chief Toxicologist at the Center. Dr. Rohrig is part of the graduate faculty of Emporia State University (Kansas) 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 and past President of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT). In 2009, he was honored to receive the Rolla N. Harger Award for outstanding contributions to the field of Forensic Toxicology. His 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; Director, Forensic Science Laboratories and Chief Toxicologist, Sedgwick County; and Regional Forensic Center Faculty of Emporia State University, Kansas

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  • JorgeHidalgo Mon Aug 12 2019

    Postmortem Toxicology

    Excellent resource for consult and review. Very y useful.

  • MeganQuinn Wed Jul 24 2019

    Postmortem Toxicology

    Very useful - postmortem tox interpretation can be difficult, so it's nice to have a variety of sources for reference.