What Is the ‘Virtual Autopsy’ Technique Used for Raju Srivastav’s Post-Mortem?

Comedian Raju Srivastav, who had suffered a heart attack earlier this month, passed away on 21 September.

2 min read

Comedian Raju Srivastav's post-mortem was done using a novel autopsy technique dubbed 'virtual autopsy', said Dr Sudhir Gupta, head of the forensic department at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi, where the procedure was done.

This is a non-invasive technique that uses high-tech X-Ray and CT scans and doesn't involve any dissection, Dr Gupta told the press.

Raju Srivastav died on 21 September after a long battle with complications arising from a heart attack he had suffered while working out earlier last month. He was 58.

The comedian's last rites are set to take place in Nigambodh Ghat in Delhi, according to his family.

How Does ‘Virtual Autopsy’ Work?

An autopsy or a post-mortem procedure is a thorough examination of a dead body and all the internal organs to determine the cause and manner of death.

Virtual autopsy is a technology that combines forensics and radiology to make this procedure non-intrusive by using 3D images of the body.

The 3D view is obtained with the help of X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans designed to facilitate this process.

It allows medical practitioners to closely study the body's blood vessels, organs, bones, and tissues to figure out the cause of death without making any dissections.

"The radiological examination can detect fractures and blood clots invisible to the naked eye. Often there are concealed fractures and injuries which are difficult to spot."
Dr Sudhir Gupta, head of forensic department in AIIMS, Delhi, as quoted by PTI

Another advantage of the 'virtual autopsy' technique is that it is also less time-consuming.

Using this technology allowed us to release Raju Srivastav's body for the last rites just a day after his death, said Dr Gupta, who has been doing the procedure for the last two years.

Why Was an Autopsy Needed in This Case?

When the comedian was brought to the hospital, he was unconscious, and so it was difficult to determine what exactly happened, said Dr Gupta.

"That's a reason it had become a medico-legal case, and in such type of cases police opt for postmortem if the person dies," Dr Gupta was quoted as saying by PTI.

"With the help of virtual autopsy, even smaller fractures like hairline or chip fracture in bones along with bleeding which are signs of antemortem injuries can be detected and they can be also documented in the form of X-ray films."
Dr Sudhir Gupta, head of forensic department in AIIMS, Delhi as quotes by PTI

"These X-ray plates have complete legal evidential value," said Mr Gupta.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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