A novel conservative technique to allow oral opening and overcome rigor mortis during medicolegal autopsy

This study presents a novel conservative technique to increase oral opening and overcome rigor mortis during medicolegal autopsy (MLA). The method proposes a myotomy of the temporalis and masseter muscles, taking advantage of the incisions of the cranial opening procedures, to achieve a significant oral opening ( ≥ 30 mm) in fresh cadavers with established rigor mortis without altering facial aesthetics. The study was performed on 48 individuals aged between 18 and 66 years (20 males and 28 females) who were autopsied at the Instituto Nacional de Patología Forense Dr. Sergio Sarita Valdez (Santo Doming o, Dominican Republic). The proposed technique not only allowed the oral access to all autopsied cadavers but also complied with current ethical standards for preserving facial aesthetics, taking into account the concerns of family members by allowing respectful viewing of the cadaver. This advancem ent not only contributes to the efficiency of oral autopsies but also influences public perception of forensic procedures and highlights the importance of ethical and aesthetic considerations in the context of MLAs. The proposed technique represents a significant step towards more respectful and eth ical forensic practices, and offers practical advantages for a more complete and accurate assessment during MLA.
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research