Autopsy Service/Forensic Pathology
Scope of Activities:
The Autopsy Service at the Medical Center performs about 850 autopsies and postmortem examinations per year. About 86% of these are medicolegal* cases; this department serves as the regional forensic pathology center for 30 of North Carolina's 100 counties. The remaining cases include hospital deaths in which the family requests or signs consent for an autopsy.
In addition, the Autopsy Service provides training and supervision for pathology residents on their autopsy/forensic pathology rotations and offers a fellowship in the specialty.
*Medical Examiner (Medicolegal) Autopsies: Under North Carolina General Statute, the chief medical examiner or designated county medical examiner has jurisdiction to determine the cause and manner of death whenever the manner is unnatural or in certain circumstances, regardless of the survival time following the underlying injury. Such autopsies may include scene investigation and trial testimony in addition to the clinical evaluations.
Special Note Regarding Body and Organ Donations:
The donation of bodies for medical education, or Anatomical Bequeathal Program, is administered by the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, not Pathology. Please call (336) 716-4369 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Please do not contact the Department of Pathology or Autopsy Services concerning organ or body donations.
Carolina Donor Services coordinates various individual organ donations; their number is (336) 774-4450 or (800) 200-2672. The North Carolina Eye Bank can be reached at (336) 765-0932.
Web Links For More Information:
Medical Center staff can click here to use the online Laboratory Handbook (only available on in-house computers connected to the infiNet). The handbook contains detailed information about all laboratory services and tests performed, and includes online copies of all necessary forms and permits.