Drowning/Immersion

The following procedure is in addition to what described under Autopsy Procedure:

Detail regarding the circumstance of the body found should be documented.
Note carefully the following findings:

Cutis anserina – Goose flesh

External Examination

  1. Body must be examined with
    • Clothes
    • Shoes
    • Pocket contents must be documented
  2. Examine for signs of immersions
    • Cutis anserina
    • Soddening of hands and feet
  3. Presence of cadaveric spasm must be documented
  4. Presence or absence of tenacious foam at mouth and nostrils must be documented and photographed
  5. Any injury found on the body must be documented, lesions can occurs due to water animals, injuries due to surroundings (for example rocks)
  6. Localization of livor mortis to be noted

Internal Examination

  1. Precise description of the lungs
    • Hemorrhagic spots over lungs surface
    • Voluminous with rib indentation  
    • Weight
  2. Tracheobronchial tree examined for
    • Froth
    • Extraneous materials (mud or sand particles)
  3. Gastric content should be examined and collected.
  4. Distant organs like lungs, liver, kidney, brain and bone for the possible demonstration of diatoms and other contaminants should be collected. If required, sampling of drowning medium (e.g. river water, pond water) should be carried out.
  5. For ancillary investigation, to rule out other causes of death, blood and visceral samples should be collected, depending upon circumstance of cases.
Diatoms