Lijken: Post-mortem toxicological urine screening in cause of death determination, Human and Experimental toxicology 2011


Authors: Manon Ceelen, Tina Dorn, Marcel Buster, Joris Stomp, Peter Zweipfenning, Kees Das.


This study evaluated standard toxicology screening by forensic physicians during external post-mortem examination. Collected urine samples of decedents were screened on-site for the presence of 10 commonly used drugs by means of a rapid multidrug test. Urine samples of 53% of the cases appeared to be positive for one or more compounds. Importantly, several cases were revealed which were positive for toxicology screening without indications for use of these drugs at the scene of death or from medical history. Based on these (preliminary) results, further action to incorporate routine post-mortem toxicology as a tool in forensic death investigation is recommended.