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Varna Medical Forum

Video documentation in pathology autopsy practice - advantages and disadvantages

George St. Stoyanov, Lilyana Petkova, Deyan Dzhenkov


Autopsies are among the best-defined medical procedures with minimal institutional differences and personalization. Methodologies for a pathological anatomy autopsy are defined in well-established manuals that have not been re-published for decades in some countries, are sold out, and can hardly be found by trainees. Over the last decade, many portable video recorders have become widely available on the free market. The records allow for correct instructions for learning from the practice of novice pathologists, and the audio parameters can be an aid in the formation of the final protocol, especially the organ parameters and their macroscopic changes. Both medical students and young pathologists can study the technique of autopsy from videos, which proves them a good educational tool. While local laws are very different and in some cases do not recognize video documentation as evidence, in some regions such records can still be used in medical matters as evidence. In such cases, video evidence would be much more preferred than photographs that can easily be speculated upon. The contribution to the completion of the pathologist's report by the certifying officer is also beyond doubt because of the possibility of monitoring and documenting the overall macroscopic picture and recognizing changes unnoticed by the specialist during the autopsy. Video documentation of autopsies with new portable devices increases the diagnostic ability of the autopsy, serves the educational purposes both in the training of students and young pathologists and last but not least, can be used in the discussion of difficult cases of interdisciplinary forums with an increase in the confidence in the pathological conclusion.


autopsy, video documentation, portable devices, medical education

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