A Virtual Autopsy of Raju Srivastava

Sep 22, Kathmandu: Comedian-actor Raju Srivastava passed away on September 21 at the age of 58 after more than 40 days in the hospital. He was being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi after he suffered a cardiac arrest while running on the treadmill at a gym last month.

The postmortem of comedian Raju Srivastava was performed using a novel technique, virtual autopsy, which is devoid of dissections, AIIMS forensic department head Dr. Sudhir Gupta said.

What is a virtual autopsy? 

Virtual autopsy, which is done with help of high-tech digital X-rays and CT scans, is less time-consuming as compared to the traditional postmortem and is non-invasive allowing the body to be released for cremation or burial sooner, Gupta told PTI.

The traditional surgery during autopsy is a little bit of pain given to the aggrieved family, Gupta said, adding that AIIMS Delhi is the only institute in Southeast Asia that has been doing virtual autopsy for the last two years.

The radiological examination can detect fractures and blood clots invisible to the naked eye. Often there are concealed fractures and injuries which are difficult to spot. With the help of virtual autopsy, even smaller fractures like hairline or chip fractures in bones along with bleeding which are signs of antemortem injuries can be detected and they can be also documented in the form of X-ray films. These X-ray plates have complete legal evidential value," added Gupta.

Explaining why an autopsy was done in Raju Srivastava's case, he said, "In the very beginning when he was brought to the AIIMS casualty, he was not in his senses and a clear history of fall during running on a treadmill could not be explained properly. That's a reason it had become a medico-legal case, and in such type of cases police opt for postmortem if the person dies."