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Many jurisdictions require that an autopsy be performed to assure that death was from natural or accidental causes. An autopsy is sometimes also requested or permitted by the family, even though not legally required. So it's not unusual for a medical examiner's office in an urban area to perform a number of autopsy examinations per day.
Most autopsy examinations require examination of the brain, in which a cut is made around the hollow upper portion of the skull bone, and the resulting skullcap is lifted and removed to expose the brain for examination and/or removal.
The traditional technique is to draw a line around the skull and cut along the line with an autopsy saw which is a hand held electric motor driven oscillating blade saw.
The goal is to cut through bone without cutting adjacent soft tissue. But usually this process must be repeated several times. In cases where the skull is not cut completely at all points around the head, a T-blade is used to break the remaining sections and pry off the skullcap.
This process is very time consuming and tedious because the oscillating blade cuts bone very slowly and significant pressure is required to cut through the bone. It takes about 30 minutes, requires constant attention, and is uncomfortable for the technician who must grip the autopsy saw, which becomes hot when operated for extended periods of time.
The procedure also require considerable skill to avoid damaging any brain tissue or causing cosmetic damage to the head. Since this lengthy process is performed on an autopsy table or station, it ties up the station and therefore limits the number of autopsy examinations that can be performed at a facility. Therefore skullcap cutting and removal is thus quite expensive and is often the cause of backlogs for medical examiners.
The Autopsy Apparatus is a powered driven rotary cutter which is mounted on a stable carrier that moves around the skull, evenly holding and guiding the cutter. It is fast and efficient, provides rapid skullcap cutting and removal, and prevents damage to the brain tissue or comestic damage to the head.
1. Medical examiners
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