Postmortem diagnosis of acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis.
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Forensic pathologists can help in the investigation of sudden unexpected deaths in co-operation with the officials responsible for the maintenance of law and order to administer justice. Sudden unexpected deaths form the subject of medicolegal investigation if they occur in apparently healthy individuals, wherein an autopsy would shed light regarding the cause of death. A 4 year retrospective review of autopsy files at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, South India was undertaken for cases of sudden unexpected deaths due to acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis occurring between May 2004 and April 2008. A total of seven cases of acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis diagnosed at autopsy as the cause of sudden unexpected death during the study period are discussed herein.