Water or Heat Related Death

Most heat related deaths, which include but are not limited to heat syncope or heatstroke, are nonspecific upon autopsy, and do not have the telltale signs of other causes of death. While a traditional autopsy may be inconclusive, a trained forensic pathologist has the experience to closely examine other evidence such as preexisting medical conditions, the environment, or the scene of death itself.

Water related deaths are most often thought to be drowning but can actually be caused by a variety of factors. An incident of near drowning can later result in death due to complications. Alternatively, secondary drowning can be the result of changes in the lungs after a near drowning incident. Therefore, the forensic pathologist can determine the cause of death as it relates to the drowning or near drowning whether the water was salt or fresh, and whether it was an accident, criminal, negligent, or otherwise.

The Forensic Panelís expert pathologists work diligently to ensure that the case is examined thoroughly in order to draw conclusions from ambiguous details surrounding possible water or heat related death scenarios. Peer-review allows the pathologist to consult with other expert medical physicians to guarantee the conclusions drawn from the examination are supported by the medical field as a whole.