Virtual autopsy

Comedian Raju Srivastava’s post-mortem was conducted using a novel technique called virtual autopsy.

What is virtual autopsy?

  • Virtual autopsy or virtopsy is a new technique of post-mortem that does not include dissections.
  • The post-mortem is done using high-tech digital X-rays and CT-scans.
  • This technique requires lesser time when compared to the traditional method of post-mortem.
  • This novel method is capable of detecting even minute fractures like hairline or chip fractures in bones along bleeding, which are signs of antemortem injuries (injuries received by body before death).
  • This is not often possible in the traditional method of autopsy.
  • Virtopsy also enables the accurate finding of the depth of foreign body, which is not often possible with conventional autopsy.
  • The findings made by virtopsy can be documented in the form of X-ray films, which can be used as evidence in court.
  • The disadvantage of virtopsy is that the lack of the use of physiological senses of an anatomical pathologist like smell, texture, and color due to the lack of direct contact with the cadaver.
  • It is also difficult to be used in underdeveloped countries where advanced technology is not prevalent.
  • However, it does away with the ethical disadvantages of the conventional autopsy as many cultures and traditions do not accept mutilation of body for the sake of autopsy.
  • Currently, AIIMS Delhi is the only institute doing virtual autopsy in Southeast Asia for the past two years.

Who was Raju Srivastav?

Raju Srivastav was an Indian comedian, actor and politician from Uttar Pradesh. He passed away after suffering a massive cardiac arrest while on the treadmill. Cardiac arrests during exercise are caused when the blockages in the blood vessels are ignored or are undiagnosed. Sometimes, workouts can trigger electrical disturbances in the heart, causing cardiac arrests. They can also cause rupturing of fatty plaques, resulting in the heart attack.

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