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Health and safety at necropsy


The postmortem room is a source of potential hazards and risks, not only to the pathologist and anatomical pathology technician, but also to visitors to the mortuary and those handling the body after necropsy. Postmortem staff have a legal responsibility to make themselves aware of, and to minimise, these dangers. This review focuses specifically on those hazards and risks associated with the necropsy of infected patients, with foreign objects present in the body, and with bodies that have been contaminated by chemicals or radioactive sources.

  • health and safety
  • necropsy
  • mortuary
  • hazard
  • CI, confidence interval
  • HBV, hepatitis B virus
  • HCV, hepatitis C virus
  • HIV, human immunodeficiency virus
  • OR, adjusted odds ratio
  • TSE, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy
  • v-CJD, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

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