New technology a “game changer” for autopsies

Cutting-edge technology could eliminate the need for traditional autopsies, reports CBS Denver. Faith leaders and city officials gathered in the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner Wednesday to check out a device the chief medical examiner called a “game changer.”

The Lodox imaging system uses low radiation doses to capture and produce high quality full-body X-rays. In some cases, the images could replace many steps in autopsies, which can be invasive and include the removal of organs.

Many cultures and religions frown on such procedures, such as Jews, Muslims and Native Americans.

The Lodox helps coroners better meet the needs of such faith-based groups without compromising the OME’s standards.

“It’s state-of-the-art technology,” Dr. James Caruso said. “It changes what is a 30 minute or more procedure to a matter of a minute or two.

“The Lodox will demonstrate trauma, foreign objects in the body, like bullets, and it gives doctors a piece of information to help them decide [if] an autopsy doesn’t need to be done and we don’t have to put the family through more stress.”

Among the faith leaders attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Doug Good Feather of Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Imam Mohamed Kolila with the Downtown Denver Islamic Center, and Rabbi Tzvi Steinberg of the Coalition of Synagogue Rabbis of Denver.

“When the body is cut or there’s loss of blood from the body,” Steinberg explained to CBS Denver, “we universally believe, we universally feel, that this is a desecration. Dr. Caruso has been an advocate for these types of sensitivities toward the faith-based communities, and [Lodox] is a wonderful advancement.”

Caruso said his office completes about 700 autopsies every year, but he notes that not every death in Denver requires an autopsy. He explained autopsies are called for with unexpected deaths, those caused by overdoses, or suspicious deaths perhaps involving violence or other trauma.

“To the extent possible,” he said, “we will not do an autopsy if we can avoid it.”

Even though Lodox can’t be used instead of a traditional autopsy in every case, Caruso said the state-of-the-art system will help his office avoid increasing stress for a family already grieving the loss of a loved one.

“This, for us, is very significant,” Rabbi Steinberg said. “It gives us a great deal of comfort.”

The Lodox system has been used in Denver since October. The city paid $600,000 for it.

New technology a “game changer” for autopsies

New technology a “game changer” for autopsies2021-09-24T10:24:53+02:00

New lodox scanner ‘an exceptional investment’ for department of pathology at WMED

In the past, pathologists at WMed in the midst of a death investigation would spend more than an hour collecting a full body X-ray as part of their inquiry.

The task, Dr. Joyce deJong said recently, could be taxing and took at least two people to complete.

Now, with the recent purchase of a Lodox scanner, an advanced full-body digital X-ray imaging device, a task that took two people more than an hour to complete is now able to be done by a single person in 13 seconds.

“It’s absolutely invaluable,” said Dr. deJong, a professor of Pathology and chair of the medical school’s Department of Pathology. In addition to her duties at the medical school, Dr. deJong is the Medical Examiner for 10 counties in Michigan, including Kalamazoo.

In addition to Dr. deJong, other faculty in the medical school’s Department of Pathology also serve as deputy medical examiners for 10 counties in Michigan.

Dr. deJong said the Lodox scanner is a refurbished model that was purchased in June for $275,000. She said the scanner has already proven to be “an exceptional investment” and pathologists have been putting the scanner to use in death investigations since July.

She said only one other Medical Examiner’s office in Michigan – Wayne County – currently has a Lodox scanner.

“It fits well into our big picture goal,” Dr. deJong said. “We really are striving in the medical examiner’s office to efficiently serve counties in Michigan, primarily in the Southwest region. But we’re also well-positioned if there were a mass-fatality incident, this machine is a huge asset for us in that we can provide it even to counties we’re not currently working with.”

The Lodox scanner is capable of providing a full-body X-ray in 13 seconds of an individual who is up to 6 feet tall. According to the National Institute of Justice, the machine was invented in South Africa as a tool to determine whether workers in the country’s diamond mines were swallowing diamonds they found.

Dr. deJong said the need for a machine like the Lodox became apparent to her in February 2016 following a mass shooting in Kalamazoo County that left six people dead. Then, in June 2016, five bicyclists were killed in Kalamazoo Township when a driver plowed his truck into the group.

In the midst of those cases, Dr. deJong said the death investigations were hindered by the time it took to complete the full-body X-rays of each victim.

“In these mass-fatality events, which unfortunately we are seeing more of, the Lodox significantly expedites the process and allows us to release the decedents to funeral homes and their loved ones more quickly,” Dr. deJong said.

Dr. deJong said the X-rays from the Lodox are being used to identify trauma in death investigations and the scanner also is beneficial in helping to positively identify decedents. She said, though, that she and her staff of deputy medical examiners are “finding that we end up using the Lodox in ways that we weren’t anticipating.”

For example, in cases of drug and opioid overdoses, pathologists have identified needles that were in the pockets of decedents after examining a full body X-ray from the Lodox scanner.

“It’s used almost daily, but not in every death investigation,” Dr. deJong said. “On a day-to-day basis, though, the full-body X-rays are done more regularly because the scans can be done so much more efficiently.”

Additionally, Dr. deJong said the Lodox scanner is enhancing education for students at WMed. She said the scanner is being used to obtain full body scans of donors to the medical school’s Body Donation Program, which are then being used by professors in the departments of Biomedical Sciences and Pathology during their instruction and interactions with students.

New lodox scanner ‘an exceptional investment’ for department of pathology at WMED

New lodox scanner ‘an exceptional investment’ for department of pathology at WMED2021-09-24T10:55:25+02:00

Location Of Foreign Bodies In An Adult


Patients are frequently admitted to emergency departments after foreign body ingestion and it is estimated that over 1500 people die each year in the USA alone following these incidents. Accurate diagnosis and treatment are therefore crucial in avoiding severe complications in the oesophagus or gastrointestinal organs. Plain X-ray imaging is frequently used in Emergency Departments (ED) for detection, assessment and treatment planning in cases of foreign body ingestion. While most patients are children, ingestions can occur in adults who are mentally unstable, alcoholic, prisoners or drug smugglers. This study reports on the assessment of a mentally unstable patient at the Emergency Unit (EMU) of the Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland.


This 19 year-old female patient was brought to the ED by family members.They reported that the patient may have ingested a foreign object, since she was observed the evening before possibly swallowing something in the bathroom. The patient suffers from a psychological disorder and was not willing to co-operate with ED staff, give a history or undergo physical examination. Possible imaging investigations were discussed. Computed Tomography (CT) was suggested for its high sensitivity and specificity, but was not viable since the patient refused to lie in a closed scanner. The high radiation was also seen as a disadvantage. Serial conventional X-rays were dismissed because of the overlapping imaging technique, and associated radiation exposure, that would be required to locate the object/s. Lodox scanning was chosen to provide a full-body X-ray image that could be performed in the ER. The large format image was seen as an advantage due to the marginal background information available. The very low radiation exposure was judged as safer for this young patient with limited history.

Location Of Foreign Bodies In An Adult

Location Of Foreign Bodies In An Adult2021-09-24T10:45:35+02:00

The Benefits Of Lodox Digital Radiography In Forensic Pathology

The purpose of this study was to measure the time spent by a single autopsy assistant in obtaining full-body radiographic imaging in a forensic pathology setting. The Lodox digital radiography (DR) system was compared with a traditional cassette-based portable computed radiography (CR) system to quantify time saved by the implementation of the Lodox imaging system.

Decedents were examined with the Lodox DR and portable CR systems to provide full-body coverage with each system. Timing was divided into preparation, acquisition, and post acquisition stages, with an additional transfer stage being required for the Lodox DR system. A neutral observer timed each stage for each decedent examined with both systems.

The Lodox DR system provided an time savings over the portable CR system to complete full-body radiographic scanning. While the portable CR system was faster at image acquisition , the Lodox DR system was faster during the preparation and post acquisition stages.

The time required for a full-body radiographic examination is markedly shortened with utilization of the Lodox DR system. Seven full-body examinations can be completed with the Lodox DR system in the time that a single full-body examination is completed with the portable CR system. In a forensic pathology setting, the Lodox DR system is therefore more time-efficient than the portable CR system studied, as it provides the same scope in a shorter time period, allowing for streamlining of radiographic imaging studies. Acad Forensic Pathol. 2015 5(3): 492-498

The Benefits Of Lodox Digital Radiography In Forensic Pathology

The Benefits Of Lodox Digital Radiography In Forensic Pathology2021-09-24T10:45:46+02:00
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