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Ask a former Autopsy Tech Anything

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posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 08:25 AM
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Autopsy Tech is the closest thing I can call my former position. I was called a Morphology Technician.

I think my state had the only ones with such name.

Not only did I eviscerate bodies, I collected trace evidence, x-rays, and took forensic photographs.

I performed about 1500 autopsies in 5 years.

I was in the business of death for a total of 10.

5 years of that was body removal.

I have seen just about anyway one could die.

Tonight I guess I feel a little nostalgic.

Would like to release built up thoughts.

I have to do this once in a while.




posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 08:38 AM
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Was it difficult to distance yourself from the fact that you were working on a human being?



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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Hi, great topic, I have juggled with the thought of getting into the "death business" for a couple years i.e. forensic pathology, autopsies, or becoming a mortician (is that an old saying these days? lol).

So I guess my first question would be do you feel it was a worth while career to get into?

And don't worry about me being able to handle dead bodies and gore, I'm used to that already



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by ideasarebulletproof
Hi, great topic, I have juggled with the thought of getting into the "death business" for a couple years i.e. forensic pathology, autopsies, or becoming a mortician (is that an old saying these days? lol).

So I guess my first question would be do you feel it was a worth while career to get into?

And don't worry about me being able to handle dead bodies and gore, I'm used to that already


No offense meant, but this statement coupled with your avatar gave me the heebiejeebies.



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Lol, no, nothing bad, I promise.



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
Was it difficult to distance yourself from the fact that you were working on a human being?



No. Not at all. I think one has to be born with the capability to turn "feelings" off.

My first autopsy was just a partial. It was a heart removal only.

The smell of blood did gross me out at first.



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by ideasarebulletproof
Hi, great topic, I have juggled with the thought of getting into the "death business" for a couple years i.e. forensic pathology, autopsies, or becoming a mortician (is that an old saying these days? lol).

So I guess my first question would be do you feel it was a worth while career to get into?

And don't worry about me being able to handle dead bodies and gore, I'm used to that already


Morticians is correct. They prepare bodies for burial.

Worth it? Hhhhmmmmmmm. Thats a hard one.

When I was knee deep in it (literally sometimes lol), It was worth every second. Had the time of my life.

But when I left.... Hello PTSD.

But I think that had to do alot with the way I left.



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by Frankenchrist
 


Yeah I can understand that.

Lol this thread just reminded me of my uncles stories from when he was an EMS in Edinburgh, Scotland.

He would sometimes come into the morgue on a lunch break and the guys would all be sitting around a table playing cards with bodies on tables behind them. Once in a while one of them would hold his hand up to one of the bodies and say "hows this look mate?" lol



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 09:36 AM
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Hi OP, this is a really cool thread. S&F because there are questions I always had but never knew who to ask. These are of course not your nice standard questions because those I could get answered easily. So sorry if some might find this offensive or disturbing [get a grip].
I always wanted to know how many people actually have messed themselves when they died.
You always hear that the bowels or bladder loosens when people hang themselves or similar. However it is never spoken about what the technicians are really faced with.
So if you don't mind, could you shed some light on that?
I'm also asking because people also always say that they put on fresh underwear in case of an accident. How many are wearing embarrassing things or dirty underwear?

Sorry but TBH these questions keep coming up in my mind and it would be great to get an answer.
Why?
Because I am sooo nosey.



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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What is it with the creepy avatars on this thread???? :lol

I have a question, sounds very sick and disgusting and undignified. But I've heard that humor helps people deal with stressful situations, such as working with dead bodies. Did you have "workplace" humor of some sort?



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by Hecate666
Hi OP, this is a really cool thread. S&F because there are questions I always had but never knew who to ask. These are of course not your nice standard questions because those I could get answered easily. So sorry if some might find this offensive or disturbing [get a grip].
I always wanted to know how many people actually have messed themselves when they died.
You always hear that the bowels or bladder loosens when people hang themselves or similar. However it is never spoken about what the technicians are really faced with.
So if you don't mind, could you shed some light on that?
I'm also asking because people also always say that they put on fresh underwear in case of an accident. How many are wearing embarrassing things or dirty underwear?

Sorry but TBH these questions keep coming up in my mind and it would be great to get an answer.
Why?
Because I am sooo nosey.



Sometimes they would mess themselves sometimes the didnt.

I remember this one 15 year old that killed himself, I WISH he woulda pooped before he shot himself. There was just a bit much for a little guy.

Fresh underware dont matter., we didnt care.

But we did have a construction worker come in that got killed in a MVA.

He had the nicest Victoria Secret lingerae on underneath his manly work clothes.

Also A tranny with a gun that crashed his ATV in the middle of the desert.

Everyone was like, " Why did he have a gun?"

I was like " Why is he dressed like a chick?"



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
What is it with the creepy avatars on this thread???? :lol

I have a question, sounds very sick and disgusting and undignified. But I've heard that humor helps people deal with stressful situations, such as working with dead bodies. Did you have "workplace" humor of some sort?


Workplace humor was a must.

EVERY case but one made me laugh.

You just had to find the humor in it all.

If not, it will drive you bat crap insane.

Example..

A body builder OD'd on a horse steroid.

Our Chief says " That'll make an animal out of ya."



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by ideasarebulletproof
reply to post by Frankenchrist
 


Yeah I can understand that.

Lol this thread just reminded me of my uncles stories from when he was an EMS in Edinburgh, Scotland.

He would sometimes come into the morgue on a lunch break and the guys would all be sitting around a table playing cards with bodies on tables behind them. Once in a while one of them would hold his hand up to one of the bodies and say "hows this look mate?" lol


Something like that would happen on a daily.

I remember grabing a severed arm and holding it out and shaking hands with other techs with it.

The cool black man hand shake too.

lol


sorry
edit on 7-4-2012 by Frankenchrist because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by Frankenchrist

Originally posted by smyleegrl
What is it with the creepy avatars on this thread???? :lol

I have a question, sounds very sick and disgusting and undignified. But I've heard that humor helps people deal with stressful situations, such as working with dead bodies. Did you have "workplace" humor of some sort?


Workplace humor was a must.

EVERY case but one made me laugh.

You just had to find the humor in it all.

If not, it will drive you bat crap insane.

Example..

A body builder OD'd on a horse steroid.

Our Chief says " That'll make an animal out of ya."


What was the one non-humorous case? If you don't mind sharing. If its too sensitive, never mind.



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 10:59 AM
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Awesome thread! S+F for you OP.
Ok, now for the questions (sorry, there's quite a few!)

Did you have trouble if you had to work on kids? What's the strangest/weirdest death you've ever seen? Were there many unsolved deaths? How long does an autopsy take? How long does a blood analysis take to do (like for drugs or poisons)? Have you ever seen/had to work on any victims of explosions or natural disasters? Is it really true that people have been killed by using insulin and is that as hard as I've read it is to detect? Is it really true that the human de-comp smell 'sticks' to your skin and clothes? (think I saw that on some CSI episode) Speaking of CSI, how accurate was that (in terms of the lab analysis/autopsy stuff) in comparison to real life? Did you ever work on any serial killer cases? Has anything you have seen made you change your own lifestyle (eg eating healthier, driving different type of car, avoiding certain prescription meds etc)?

Hmm, think that's it for the moment!



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl

Originally posted by Frankenchrist

Originally posted by smyleegrl
What is it with the creepy avatars on this thread???? :lol

I have a question, sounds very sick and disgusting and undignified. But I've heard that humor helps people deal with stressful situations, such as working with dead bodies. Did you have "workplace" humor of some sort?


Workplace humor was a must.

EVERY case but one made me laugh.

You just had to find the humor in it all.

If not, it will drive you bat crap insane.

Example..

A body builder OD'd on a horse steroid.

Our Chief says " That'll make an animal out of ya."


What was the one non-humorous case? If you don't mind sharing. If its too sensitive, never mind.


I could not find anything funny about a 5 year old kid stuffed in a igloo cooler.

It wasn't even that, it was just it caught me off guard.

I was late for work and I missed morning report. So I didn't get details on my case.

I walked into the autopsy suite and saw a igloo cooler on the table.

Now, I had performed autopsies on at least 10-20 babies that had arrived in such coolers.

And these babies were usually not full term.

Sometimes, they were just very very tiny.

So. I walk up to the table.

Open cooler.

See decomposing 5 year old in cooler.

I close cooler.

I was like "Yo! WTF!!!!! This is F&@$:!ing evidence!!!!!"


I just didn't read my case.


That was also the longest autopsy I ever did.

Most photos.

Most X-rays.


edit on 7-4-2012 by Frankenchrist because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by Anon77
Awesome thread! S+F for you OP.
Ok, now for the questions (sorry, there's quite a few!)

Did you have trouble if you had to work on kids? What's the strangest/weirdest death you've ever seen? Were there many unsolved deaths? How long does an autopsy take? How long does a blood analysis take to do (like for drugs or poisons)? Have you ever seen/had to work on any victims of explosions or natural disasters? Is it really true that people have been killed by using insulin and is that as hard as I've read it is to detect? Is it really true that the human de-comp smell 'sticks' to your skin and clothes? (think I saw that on some CSI episode) Speaking of CSI, how accurate was that (in terms of the lab analysis/autopsy stuff) in comparison to real life? Did you ever work on any serial killer cases? Has anything you have seen made you change your own lifestyle (eg eating healthier, driving different type of car, avoiding certain prescription meds etc)?

Hmm, think that's it for the moment!



Trouble? Like as in hard for me to do?

No.

Strangest? Oh so many to tell.

Here's a good one.

On 06/06/06. In a park. A drunk wannabee Satanist drew a pentagram in the ground.

He started cursing at God.

He said. "God! If you are real, blah blah blah! Strike me down!!"

Or of the sort.

At that moment a gust of wind blows a branch out of a tree and hits him in head.

He's dead.

Lol.


How long does an autopsy take?

Well, at my peak. I could remove every organ, including the brain and throat.

15 minutes.

Blood test took months. Depending on how far backed up they were.

But you could get results in 24 hours if you wanted too.

Explosions?

Yes. Pipe bomb.

Burn victims. All the time.

Insulin deaths??

I don't recall anything like that.

Decomp smell.

Yes. It does stick to you. Sometimes.

My dogs would always give me a once over.

Then a weird look.

CSI is BS.

Since when do you do autopsies in the dark?

I'll stop right there.

Serial killer cases?

I had a gut about some.

I did perform one on a suspected serial killer.

Lifestyle changes.

Always wear a helmet when skating or doing other extreme sports.

Stay away from Zoloft. And the likes.



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Frankenchrist
 


I guess you kinda harden to working on kids and babies.

Lol, That satanist one was funny. What a tit.


15 Mins! Wow, that's much quicker than I thought they'd take, I was thinking more like hours.

Months for blood tests is pretty bad, I'd guess the case needs to be suspicious to get stuff back in 24 hours?

Pipe bomb! Bet there wasn't much left after that.

Does normal soap and water get rid of the decomp smell?

Ha! I had a suspicion you might say that about CSI. I had a feeling it was all pretty much artistic BS.

What did the suspected serial killer die from? When you say you had a gut feeling about some victims was it because of their wounds or places they were found or because they were all similar kinds of people or just instinct?

The wearing a helmet thing makes sense. Why stay away from Zoloft and similar SSRI's? Do they cause obvious physical changes in the body? or even early death?

Thanks for answering all these questions btw.



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by Frankenchrist
 


Thats pretty interesting. As one working on my Criminal Forensic degree right now....
Ive taken a number of autopsy lectures and found them fascinating. While my studies were more on evidence collection and lab analysis, the autopsy part fascinated me too
Not sure Id ever work as a tech, but I could...

The one thing that bothers me a LOT though is that in the states, many are elected positions and you need ZERO experience to be an autopsy tech aka medical examiner or death investigator or coronor. I had studied this at length and found so many alarming stories it would piss everyone off.....its a MAJOR MAJOR issue in this country!!

Post Mortem: Death Investigators

Should we abolish coroners? (watch this video!!) This video we studied in one of my forensic classes....it IS VERY alarming!


edit on April 7th 2012 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by Frankenchrist
 


Based on my post above...Im curious, what were your qualifications to be a death investigator? Are you in the states, or another country? Do you have a specialized degree? Are you a medical professional?
edit on April 7th 2012 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)



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