Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Pandemic.Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2020 09 01; 144(9):1048-1056.AP
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is significantly changing methodologic approaches in all branches of the health system. From a forensic point of view, this event is partly changing the manner in which forensic pathologists and all those who work in autopsy services operate, but above all, it is changing the patterns established for years by which cadavers are analyzed postmortem.
To present a review of the literature and a proposal for COVID-19 autopsy protocols. To contain the infection risk, a revision of all the protocols that until now have been applied to the examination of bodies that require autopsy services is required.
Currently, the diagnosis and postmortem analysis of positive or suspected COVID-19 cases plays a crucial role in scientific research. A review of the main recommendations proposed by international scientific societies regarding the risk of infection during autopsy was carried out. Scientific papers currently available via the PubMed NCBI search engine on COVID-19 postmortem diagnosis were also examined.
Throughout the history of medicine, autopsy has been fundamental to the understanding of multiple pathogenic processes that are investigated postmortem. The purpose of the study is to propose an operating protocol that can be useful for all clinical and forensic autopsies, with particular reference to the correct methods to be applied to the examination of positive or suspected COVID-19 cases, regarding both the autopsy procedure and the collection and analysis of biological samples.