Learn how our essential services will continue to operate as we respond 'Together against COVID-19'.

​New technology helps grieving loved ones

Issued: Tuesday, 24 August 2015

[PDF, 139kb]

Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Attorney General Gabrielle Upton have toured the Department of Forensic Medicine in Glebe to view state-of-the art technology that is providing faster post-mortem results and reducing distress for loved ones.

The NSW Government has invested $600,000 in a new Computed Tomography (CT) scanner whose sophisticated imaging capability means forensic pathologists are able to capture highly detailed scans of bones and internal tissues.

The CT scanner provides a comprehensive radiological examination and gathers information via 3D detail of bones, internal tissue and organs. It can determine fractures, natural causes - including stroke - or specific injury patterns associated with various traumas, such as gunshot wounds. The images can be taken through a body bag or clothing, which can avoid the need for internal examination of the body.

“This sophisticated tool allows forensic pathologists to prepare more comprehensive reports for the NSW Coroner and, in some cases, determine cause of death faster.

“It also means that families can take comfort in knowing their loved ones’ remains have been handled with the utmost dignity and returned to them as quickly as possible so they can carry out funeral arrangements.

“The NSW Government is determined to invest in innovative approaches that create better health and justice systems,” Mrs Skinner said.

While trauma surgeons use CT scanners, this one at Glebe is only the second in NSW - after Newcastle - to support forensic post-mortems.

Ms Upton said the new CT scanner would help reduce any anxiety families feel about the forensic process after losing a loved one.

“Families struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one already have enough to deal with. This scanner will make it faster and easier to determine a cause of death,” Ms Upton said.