Department of Forensic & Legal Medicine

Smajda György, Friday 09 October 2015 - 13:19:23

Dr. Ilona MÁTHÉ forensic medical expert

The Department of Legal Medicine deals with laboratory and histology examinations to detect the cause of death and other pathological differences, diatomy examinations to prove drowing, and morphology examinations of human hair and body hair.

AIn the histology laboratory parts of organs and tissues from autopsy are prepared for histological examinations, the resulting histologic sections are examined with light microscope, and drowning cases are proved by diatom test.

During the exploration and verification of criminal cases, modern criminology demands the professional and scientific examination of biological remains found on the scene of crime. Among the biological remains, human hair and body hair can be found on the scene of the most various crimes, such as homicide, economic crime, traffic accidents, and sexual crime. The Department of Legal Medicine is responsible for finding hair and human body hair biological remains on the rendered clues.

  • in cases of economic crime,
  • in fatal injuries and homicide,
  • in sexual crime,
  • in traffic accidents,
  • in state administration proceedings (unclear death cases, identifying unknown person),
  • in cases of man and drug smuggling.

The basis of the applied techniques is to make the examination material suitable for microscopic examination: after the preparation of the substances, the detection of the constituents of the tissues, and the examination of special constituents, pathological substances, e.g. by HE painting the detection of fat, iron, lime, the detection of special fibres, and pathological constituents, such as amiloid, bacteria, fungus etc. These procedures are based on standardised technological descriptions, e.g. ORO, Gram, Elastica Gieson, Berlin blue, PAS, Picrosyrius, silver impregnation, Alcian blue dye etc.

The aim of the histological examination is to confirm the dissection diagnosis, to detect the pathological differences of the organs, to assess the type and time of injury.

Diatoms examination: The parts of the organs resulting from the dissection of the person drowned are prepared suitably, then the prepared examination material is examined in optical microscope, and evaluated. The result helps prove or disprove the fact of drowning.

The hair found on the crime scene and rendered for examination, and the hair detected on the rendered crime objects (pl. clothing, devices etc.) are prepared and examined with an optical microscope. In some cases there is an opportunity to use SEM for the examination in order to examine the surface and deeper structural elements of the hairs, to get more information on the injuries, to detect the type of hair diseases etc.

  • if the examined hair is human or animal,
  • hair or body hair,
  • in what way it came off the body,
  • its structural characteristics, colour, diameter,
  • the type of its possible injury (e.g. cut injury caused by the windscreen in a traffic accident),
  • the signs of physical and chemical impacts (e.g. changes caused by heat or corrosives),
  • other characteristics (e.g. colouring, hair desease),
  • if it is suitable for further identification,
  • what other examinations can be made with the aim of individual identification (e.g. DNA examination)
  • in the case of human hair and body hair (pubic hair, mustache and beard in some cases) it is possible to identify the person they belong to or close out the suspect by making a comperative examination of the given person's hair sample with light microscope.