Post-mortem toxicology, like ante-mortem toxicology, is the legal investigation of specimens for the presence and quantity of drugs to help indicate and determine their contribution in a person’s cause of death, specifically if a death is sudden, suspicious, or unexplained. There are several different specimen types that can be used in an autopsy examination process, including blood, urine, vitreous humour and tissue.
The waiting time for autopsy toxicology results is reported to be anywhere from 6 weeks to six months in a number or regions. Using our Biochip Technology, Randox Toxicology’s Evidence MultiSTAT provides immediate drug testing results and real-time data to the pathologist, coroner’s office, law enforcement and medical providers. Detection of classical, prescription and synthetic drugs from a single sample, the MultiSTAT is designed to work across a variety of matrices.
|Drugs and Drug Analytes*
|AB-CHMINACA (Synthetic Cannabinoids)
|Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG)
|JWH-018 (Synthetic Cannabinoids )
|Benzodiazepines I (Oxazepam)
|Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
|Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA)
|Benzodiazepines II (Lorazepam)
|Xylazine (Blood Only)
*Tests dependent on test kit and matrix
King County Medical Examiner’s Office
“The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has implemented rapid urine and blood toxicology screening in conjunction with comprehensive toxicology testing. […] To move toward a goal of near real-time drug surveillance, the office researched the effectiveness of screening techniques to identify and report probable overdose deaths[.] Blood samples are tested using an Evidence MultiSTAT (Randox®) automated immunoanalyzer[.] King County’s process for identifying possible drug overdoses and streamlining death certification has proved to add value. Based on the positive results […] the King County Medical Examiner’s Office is continuing this practice and leveraging screening data for near real-time monitoring and drug surveillance.”
Shute R, Bollinger K, Tucker M, and Ropero-Miller JD. (2021). Use of rapid toxicology screening tools in medical examiner/coroner offices. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences.
Charleston County Coroner’s Office
South Carolina, USA
The Evidence MultiSTAT will provide immediate drug testing results and real-time data to the coroner’s office, law enforcement and medical providers. This information will be used to impact the opioid epidemic with real-time data as it relates to fatal drug overdoses. “So currently, if we are conducting an autopsy, we’ll take a blood sample and we send it off to a forensic lab, and it will take us six to eight weeks. To get those results back,” O’Neil explains.
In less than half an hour, using less than a millilitre of blood, the MultiSTAT can scan for traces of 21 drugs. Charleston Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neil says the technology is revolutionary.
Lehigh County Coroner’s Office
The Evidence MultiSTAT is being used at Lehigh County Coroner’s Office for postmortem toxicology testing. “We’re saving quite a bit of time with this analyser,” said Deputy Coroner Rick Pender. “Not only do we identify the drug, but it’ll also give us the amount that’s in the body so we can get a good analysis in a very short period of time,” said Pender. A half hour instead of several weeks.
Did you know that if you are based in the USA or Canada you could be eligible for a full grant to assist with the purchase of our Evidence MultiSTAT analyser?
In order to combat substance abuse within the USA and Canada, certain bodies are offering grants to assist with tracking and preventing the misuse of harmful substances.