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Walsall turns to digital autopsies during pandemic


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Walsall Council has made temporary arrangements for digital autopsies during the coronavirus pandemic.

It has entered a five-month agreement with iGene, which carries out computed tomography post mortems (CTPMs) on a specialised scanner at its Sandwell facility. This makes it possible to carry out the process in a non-invasive way, which provides a stronger level of protection to staff in dealing with deceased bodies.

Councillor Garry Perry, cabinet portfolio holder for community, leisure and culture, said: "In approximately 70% of cases it can help identify the cause of death without having to use invasive autopsies.

"The technology has the added benefit of being able to identify the cause of death much quicker."

He added: "At a time of this national emergency we must do everything possible to keep the NHS safe and save lives. Using digital autopsies will help us achieve this."

Walsall said the initial agreement will run until the end of September when it will be reviewed.

iGene is already making the service available to a number of local authorities including Stoke-on-Trend, Wolverhampton, Sandwell Sheffield and South Ribble, and last year Birmingham City Council began a 12-month trial of the process.

Image from iGene

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