Post-mortem without cutting open body soon to be a reality in Mumbai

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s three medical colleges to have virtual autopsy centres with high-tech CT scanners and 3D imaging

Pic courtesy: SRF
Pic courtesy: SRF

Conducting a post-mortem without cutting open a body will soon be a reality in Mumbai as three major Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) hospitals are planning to start virtual autopsy centres soon.

Forensic departments of leading three BMC medical colleges – KEM, BYL Nair and LTMG Sion Hospital – along with their radiology department colleagues have chalked out a detailed plan for virtual autopsy centre’s set-up. Sources said the centres are likely to get operational in 2017-18.

This will be first of its kind post-mortem centre in India.

“Virtual autopsy is need of the hour as it is time-saving and complements traditional way of conducting autopsy,” said Dr Harish Pathak, head of forensic department at KEM Hospital.

Biggest advantage of virtual autopsy, he said is that it helps in recording minute details, which can be missed by naked eye in a traditional post-mortem procedure.

“In virtual autopsy, even a minute fracture can be seen. We can conduct additional analysis on same body for second or third autopsies,” said Pathak.

Virtual autopsy centres will have high-tech diagnostic CT scanners with 3D imaging.

“We plan to introduce it once forensic departments go under renovation. Though it will not replace existing post-mortem systems, it will act as supplementary to it. It will help for pathological records and serve as a tremendous source of medical information for our doctors and medical students,” said Dr Avinash Supe, director of major civic hospitals. Each CT scanner is said to cost the corporation Rs 5 crore.

Agreeing to Supe, Dr Hemant Deshmukh, head of department of radiology, KEM Hospital, said, “We plan to buy CT scanner that can dissect each body organ into 64 slices. Our doctors and medical students can learn new anomalies in human body. We can also do a 3D reconstruction of entry and exit of a bullet from a body,” said Deshmukh.