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Old 08-02-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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I've been wondering about this for some time, and I wonder if anyone knowledgeable can answer.

When an autopsy is done, why does that toxicology report take so long? Don't we have the technology to get tox studies right away? I know a tox SCREEN can be done in minutes, like in an ER. But why is it at least 6 weeks for tox reports on a deceased person?

I work in behavioral health, and from time to time, our clients die. When we have permission from the next of kin, we always try to get the cause of death from the medical examiner's office. We are always told we have to wait over 6 weeks for the toxicology report to come in.

I like watching "Dr. G- Medical Examiner" on Discovery Health. She's a coroner, and she even has to wait 5-6 weeks for tox reports to come in.

You even hear about it when famous people die--Michael Jackson, Brittany Murphy-- the early news stories say that cause of death can't be determined until the toxicology reports come in, in about 6 weeks.

Really? In 2010? Why does it take so long?

Just wondering if anyone can explain that. Thanks.
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