X-ray unit welcomed

2011-02-04 00:00

THE Port Shepstone Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) has received a welcome boost with the recent completion of its brand-new office extensions, which include a high-tech X-ray department.

According to Samantha Fynn, administrative officer at the mortuary, the new X-ray department will significantly reduce the cost of running the service. Since it was taken over by the department of health in 2006, the Port Shepstone morgue has had to send bodies that required X-rays to Durban for post-mortems.

“It will save us a lot of money because now we can do our own X-rays,” said Fynn. “That is one of the major things to have emerged from the completion of the new building.”

The mortuary conducts between 55 and 60 post-mortems every month.

“We only deal with unnatural deaths here, though,” she adds. “If a person dies a natural death then the body is taken to a private funeral parlour in most instances.”

There is one forensic pathologist who works at the building — Dr Ishaard Khan — and Fynn acknowledges that the work he does is very important.

“What we do here provides a service to the family of the deceased and also to the police in helping with their investigations,” says Fynn.

“We do a number of things to help the investigating officer, such as blood/alcohol tests, sexual abuse inspections and even DNA tests.”

Fynn says that she cannot recall a single instance of a post-mortem not revealing the cause of death of a person.

The new building is now fully operational. It is closed on weekends, but emergency post-mortems can be conducted in situations involving religious observances.

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