Oct 05, 2022  
2021-2022 College Catalog 
2021-2022 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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AJS 205 - Forensic Pathology and Death Investigation

3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods

Basic principles of forensic pathology, demonstrating the use of autopsy findings and death scene investigation to determine the cause and manner of death for deaths that fall under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner in the state of Arizona. Includes postmortem changes; sudden and unexpected, suspicious and violent deaths; and postmortem identification.

Prerequisite(s): AJS 204  

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of forensic pathology and death scene investigations.
  2. Interpret how investigation along with autopsy and ancillary tests determine the cause and manner of death.
  3. Classify which deaths fall into the jurisdiction of the medical examiner in the state of Arizona.

  1. Introduction
    1. General types of medicolegal investigative systems
    2. Jurisdiction based on Arizona law
    3. Five manners of death found on Arizona death certificates
  2. The Forensic Autopsy
  3. Postmortem Changes and Determination of Time of Death
    1. Definition
      1. Algor mortis
      2. Livor mortis
      3. Tardieu spots
      4. Rigor mortis
      5. Decomposition
      6. Putrefaction
      7. Mummification
      8. Postmortem artifacts
      9. Tache noire
    2. Postmortem clock
    3. Time of death
    4. Window of death
  4. Sudden, Unexpected Death by Natural Causes
    1. Body system most often implicated in natural deaths
    2. Terms and definitions
      1. Cardiovascular system
      2. Pulmonary system
      3. Hepatic system
      4. Genitourinary system
      5. Central nervous system
    3. Common causes of death during pregnancy.
    4. Types of vitreous electrolyte patterns
  5. Blunt Force Trauma
    1. Definitions
      1. Abrasions
      2. Contusions
      3. Lacerations
    2. Distinguish Between Laceration and incised wounds
    3. Subdural, epidural and subarachnoid hemorrhages
  6. Asphyxia
    1. Cafe coronary
    2. Carbon monoxide (CO)
      1. Cause of death
      2. Potential sources of CO
    3. Terms and definitions
      1. Hanging
      2. Autoerotic (sexual) asphyxia
      3. Strangulation
      4. Smothering
      5. Choking
      6. Postural (positional)
      7. Drowning
      8. Asphyxiating gas
  7. Investigation of Deaths From Drug and Ethanol Abuse
    1. Alcohol and metabolism
      1. Stages of intoxication
      2. Organs affected by chronic alcohol abuse
      3. Alcohol abuse and causes of death
    2. Drugs
      1. Organs affected by drug abuse
      2. Basic metabolites of cocaine
      3. Common natural and synthetic opiates
      4. Drug abuse and causes of death
      5. Drug paraphernalia
      6. Tolerance in drug abuse
  8. Suicide , Homicide, Elder Abuse and Childhood Death
    1. Scene investigation of suicide and homicide deaths
    2. Elder abuse
    3. Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID)
    4. Causes of childhood natural death
    5. Munchausen’s by Proxy
    6. Common injury types of infant homicide
  9. Firearm Deaths
    1. Types of material discharged from gun barrel
    2. Contact, intermediate and distant entrance wounds
    3. Loose contact versus hard contact wounds
    4. Entrance versus exit wounds
    5. Skull wounds
    6. Characteristics of bullet wipe
    7. Bullet caliber
    8. Trajectory
    9. Appearance of entrance wound
    10. Differences between handguns, shotguns, and rifle entrance/exit wounds and projectiles recovered in the body
  10. Sharp Force Injuries
    1. Definitions
      1. Incised wounds
      2. Stab wounds
      3. Chop wounds
  11. Environmental Deaths and Thermal Injuries
    1. Fire Deaths
      1. Pugilistic attitude
      2. Rules of Nines
    2. Hypothermia and hyperthermia
    3. Drowning
      1. Terminology for submerged body changes
    4. Electrocution
    5. Anaphylactic death
  12. Postmortem Identification
    1. DNA
      1. Definition
      2. Molecules of DNA
    2. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
    3.  Forensic Anthropology
      1. Identifying persons through bones
      2. Trauma


Effective Term:
Full Academic Year 2018/19

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