September 25th, 2007


What Is Done With the Hair During the Autopsy Process? When Are the Refrigerators Used?

Setting: Ficticious world, reminiscent of modern day America.

I've tried Googling things such as 'morgue + "shave head"', 'morgue + bodies', 'autopsy + hair', and various other combinations of those words, and so far, I've come up with nothing. Hopefully, someone hear can give me a hand.

The specific situation I have is this: one of my characters, a female in her mid-twenties, is shot in the abdomen by police and dies soon after. The next place she is seen is at the morgue, after they've examined her. I was planning to use her hair as a means of identification for the reader without actually saying its her. However, since I don't know much about the autopsy process, I'm not sure whether or not she would still have any hair.

Basically, what I'd like to know is, in the event that a person did not die from a head injury, will their hair still be shaved off during the autopsy?

Also, if this isn't too much trouble, I have an additional question: if the body of the deceased has already been examined, would it still be placed in the autopsy refrigerators rather than sent away for a burial? What if the body in question belonged to a terrorist or other violent criminal?

Edit to add: This is probably a useful bit of information. Say the person in question had rather long hair (shoulder length, perhaps even to mid-back). Would this be a factor at all?
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US walk-in clinics

Hi, I need to know what happens when you go to a walk-in medical clinic in the States (LA in my story). Here in Canada, the nurse takes your health care card number and your name, and then you wait for the doctor to be available. I've Googled "walk-in clinic united states" and such, but it keeps giving me Canadian results no matter what I do.

In the US, is it even called a walk-in clinic? What if you don't have insurance, but you do have cash? What could a person expect the nurse/receptionist to say/ask? How much would a visit cost? Thank you as always.