Drugs Toxicological Analysis

Injection sites sampling

Excision of skin and tissue (muscle) may be necessary in postmortem investigation of a suspected injection site. Typically a cube of muscle and skin is removed for this purpose. However, it is important to compare the drug concentrations in the suspected injection site with those in a control specimen from the same individual where there… read more »

Urine sampling

In antemortem settings, a mid-stream urine sample is usually collected into a plastic container containing sodium fluoride as preservative. In some settings it may be necessary to take precautions against specimen adulteration. In postmortem settings, urine is collected by insertion using a hypodermic syringe directly into the bladder under visualisation. Puncture of the abdominal wall… read more »

Gastric contents sampling

Gastric content is a potentially valuable specimen for analysis in postmortem and clinical cases. Unabsorbed drug or tablet fragments in the gastric contents may provide valuable information concerning ingested compounds and provide an excellent material for preliminary screening owing to the potentially large amounts of drug that may be present. The absence of a drug… read more »

Bile sampling

Bile is generally aspirated from the gallbladder using a hypodermic syringe. It may be necessary to tie off the gallbladder prior to collection if contamination appears to be an issue. Bile should be collected prior to the liver specimen to avoid contamination. Many drugs of forensic interest accumulate in the bile, particularly those that are… read more »

Vitreous humour sampling

Direct aspiration of vitreous humour using a hypodermic syringe may yield 2–3mL of fluid per eye. The needle should be placed in the central globeandaspiratedwithgentlesuction.Preservationwithsodiumfluoride is generally recommended. The eye is located within the protective environment of the orbit and, being essentially outside the body, is remote from other tissues. Vitreous fluid is therefore a… read more »

Blood Sampling

Specimen selection, sampling, storage and stability Appropriate selection, sampling and proper storage of biological evidence are important, yet sometimes overlooked, steps in forensic toxicology. These factors, in combination with drug stability, can profoundly impact the interpretation of results and the outcome of forensic casework. Criteria surrounding each of these are presented and discussed in the… read more »