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Monday, April 26, 2010

Things I Didn't Learn In Pharmacy School

I have always been fascinated by crime scene investigation and putting together the evidence puzzle that nails the bad guys. I recently read "Bodies We've Buried" that is a walk-through of what is taught at the National Forensic Academy in Tennessee. I learned some things there that I never learned in pharmacy school.

1. The medical examiner has far better stories than I do. For example: The world of the medical examiner is a strange one-a very strange world indeed. One day, the ME might perform an autopsy on an adolescent who has overdosed on Oxycontin, and the next day extract a gourd from the rectum of a cross-dressing traveling salesman who has accidentally strangled himself while masturbating with a Bic pen jammed into his penis (we kid you not). You just never know.

2. Blood will not pool where there is pressure or clothing when you die. For example: The commode is a common place for even the best of us to die (remember the king dying on his throne). If the person dies and remains on the toilet for some time, this person will form the most ungodly and unbelievably pale ring in the shape of the toilet seat-the rest of the undercarriage will be purple.

3. Sperm is spunky! For example: Sperm can survive for up to three days in the vagina of a living person, and has been known to survive for over three years in the rectum of a frozen cadaver. Another example: Hundreds of sperm heads have been known to survive between the cheek and gum for up to six hours after ejaculation.

4. We could be a valuable food source to urban foragers. For example: Furthermore, animals are attracted to a decomposing body in succession, much as insects are. Larger carnivores (raccoons, possums) arrive first, devouring most of the flesh. When most of the meat is gone, along come the smaller animals, like rats, whose interest lies solely with the joints of the cadaver. This is where the fattiest nutrients reside within the marrow. Next come the herbivores, such as squirrels. Squirrels nibble away at the small bones, like those in the ribs, searching for calcium and other minerals.

It makes me sad that only law enforcement officers or current crime scene techs are allowed to attend the school. Maybe they could be swayed by a sizable cash donation...come on Powerball numbers! I may have to make a career change because this book sounds far more interesting than what I do for a living!


Anonymous said...

I'm married to a medical examiner. The stories are really amazing. I'll write a book someday.

Fries With That, tech said...

I know what I wanna be when I grow up!

Drive Thru Wench, CPhT said...

I read a book about a real CSI and the one thing she said that stuck out was that people that die on mattresses get the pattern stuck in their skin. Thought I'd share.

Mc RPh said...

So THAT is where I left my pen.

Big 'N Tasty RPH said...

Anonymous, when you write that book I want the first copy!