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October 18, 2006

Judie Havers
Corporate Communications & Public Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 58738

London Pathologists Publish Book on Forensic Pathology of Trauma

LONDON, (Ontario) – The science of forensics has quickly become a subject of interest for many people, as evidenced by the popularity of the CSI series of television programs. But are these programs an accurate reflection of the real world of forensic investigation?

Two London pathologists have published a textbook that focuses on the forensic pathology of trauma. The book, written by Dr. Michael J. Shkrum, MD, Department of Pathology, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (Schulich Medicine), and Dr. David A Ramsay, MB ChB, Departments of Pathology and Clinical Neurological Sciences, LHSC and Schulich Medicine, was published on October 1, 2006 and was a featured title at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Forensic Toxicology, October 4-7, 2006 in Austin, Texas.

Titled “Forensic Pathology of Trauma”, the book provides practical advice about the conduct and analysis of the forensic autopsy in the case of trauma. It presents a step-wise approach to the entire forensic investigation, from the collation of information about the death scene and the background of the deceased, to the external and internal examination of the body, concluding with tests on the evidentiary material collected postmortem.

Dr. Bertha Garcia, Chair/Chief of Pathology, LHSC and Schulich Medicine, calls the book “an important piece of work” and says, “ This comprehensive text is likely to become a desktop companion to most pathologists practicing autopsy pathology, whether at academic health sciences centres, forensic units or the community.” Dr. Garcia added, “It is a much needed addition to the forensic pathology literature.” Primary audiences will be pathologists, including consulting neuropathologists conducting medicolegal postmortem examinations.

Trauma patterns addressed include those associated with asphyxia, thermal injury, bodies recovered from water, penetrating trauma, blunt trauma, craniocerebral trauma, vertebrospinal trauma, and sudden neurological death.

Dr. Shkrum says, “The book has been a 2 year project. Our hope is that it will be a valuable resource to those in the field of forensic pathology, as well as an education tool for those in training programs.”

The publisher, Humana Press, will feature the book in their Q4 2006 New Books catalogue, as well as including it in their October New Books subscriber email list.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada’s largest acute-care teaching hospitals and is dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching and research. LHSC has pioneered many national and international medical breakthroughs. Located in London, Ontario, LHSC encompasses three sites, South Street Hospital, University Hospital and Victoria Hospital; two family medical centres; and the London Regional Cancer Program. LHSC is the home of the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario and CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics). The research arm of LHSC is Lawson Health Research Institute, which is partnered with London’s other teaching hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. LHSC is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. Physicians and staff at LHSC number close to 8,000 and together they provide care for more than 600,000 patients each year.