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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 128

Significance of forensic medicine in the COVID-19 pandemic


Department of Oral Medicine, Radiology and Special Care Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission21-Nov-2021
Date of Acceptance29-Nov-2021
Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M R Visalachi
Department of Oral Medicine, Radiology and Special Care Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijfo.ijfo_25_21

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How to cite this article:
Visalachi M R. Significance of forensic medicine in the COVID-19 pandemic. Int J Forensic Odontol 2021;6:128

How to cite this URL:
Visalachi M R. Significance of forensic medicine in the COVID-19 pandemic. Int J Forensic Odontol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 27];6:128. Available from: https://www.ijofo.org/text.asp?2021/6/2/128/333634



With great interest, I read the article Influence and challenges of COVID-19 in forensic Identification by the authors, Bin Cong and Xin Liu, published on August 5, 2020.[1]

In the above-quoted article, they have explained the challenges faced by professionals in the field of forensic community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 is a serious challenge in this century with high infectivity, morbidity, and mortality rate. COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone's life.[2] During the pandemic, there is severe hike in the number of deaths, out of which many, etiology of deaths remains unclear. The forensic community plays an important role in identifying the cause of deaths. The autopsies performed by the forensic experts give considerable results pertaining to COVID-19. The normal airway mucous is composed of epithelial goblet cells and seromucosal gland secretions, whereas the histopathological finding reveals that the lungs of COVID-19–affected individual exhibit inflammatory and compositional changes. Increase in production and secretion of mucous is seen. There are also increased levels of sulfation and glycosylation, which in turn increases acidic glycoprotein content. Therefore, the viscosity is higher and difficult to remove mucous from airway. Accumulation of mucous causes obstruction of the airway and is a good medium for bacterial growth.[3]

COVID-19 is highly infectious. Forensic physicians have intimate contact while performing autopsies and are at high risk when the cause of death is unclear as the descended person can be a pathogenic carrier too.

Following precautions can be carried out to minimize the risk of transmission:

  • To educate the forensic practitioners on risk factors, transmission, and prevention of COVID-19
  • To perform the procedures with personal protection
  • To strengthen the research field of forensic in risk factors of COVID-19 its prevention and management.


According to the above-mentioned article, it concludes that autopsies play a vital role in assessing unnatural deaths during this COVID-19 pandemic and also care needs to be taken to prevent the spread of infection among the forensic professionals.

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the Department of Oral Medicine, Radiology and Special Care Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, for giving me this opportunity.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Cong, Bin & Liu, Xin. Influence and challenge of COVID-19 in forensic identification. Journal of Forensic Science and Medicine. 2020;6:50. DOI: 10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_32_20.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Parekh U, Chariot P, Dang C, Stray-Pedersen A, Druid H, Sajantila A. A roadmap to the safe practice of forensic medicine in the COVID-19 pandemic. J Forensic Leg Med 2020;76:102036.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Stefania Z, Ginevra M, Elvira VS, Antonina A. COVID-19: A new challenge for forensic medicine. Med Leg J 2020;88:104-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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