Forensic Evidence Preservation

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Evidence Preservation Forensic evidence is anything presented in court to support or refute a theory of statement. In a healthcare setting, common types of evidence include clothing, body fluids, bloodstains, and bullets. In the course of a physical exam, you're also likely to find other evidence such as hairs and fibers, for instance, as well as pieces of materials such as paint, glass, or wood. Gloves should be worn at all times when collecting or handling potential evidence to prevent contamination. If you're not sure if something could be used as evidence, gather and secure it anyway, and allow forensic experts to make that determination. Physical Evidence When a trauma patient comes into the ED one of the first steps in assessing and treating the patient is to remove all the patients clothing. Remove clothing carefully. If you have to cut it off,…show more content…
Projectiles should be removed with forceps with rubber tips to prevent scratching. Each projectile should be placed in individual small containers, such as urine specimen cups, along with sterile gauze to prevent movement. Police or hospital security should secure firearms. When documenting, do not label the wounds as entrance or exit in the assessment. It should be up to the forensic pathologist to differentiate these two. Needles and Knives Tremendous care should be taken when collecting and handling sharp objects. Needles may have trace substances and the knife blade may have fingerprints. They should be handled with rubber tipped forceps. These items should be placed in appropriate cardboard boxes or tubes. Needles can be placed into glass tubes or gauze filled specimen containers. Chain of Custody For evidence to be used in court, there must be documentation of the chain of custody, the identity of everyone who has had possession of a piece of evidence from the time it's collected. Failure to provide this documentation will render evidence inadmissible in

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