Do I Need A Second Autopsy?
Patients who contact Dr. Chundru requesting a second look at their loved one’s case most often need a medical record review rather than a second autopsy. During a medical record review, he will thoroughly examine all of the documents provided from the first autopsy, but will not perform physical observations of the tissues previously processed in the first autopsy.
A second autopsy is an autopsy that is performed after another party has conducted the first autopsy. Dr. Chundru’s clients almost always request his services for a second autopsy because they believe the first autopsy was incompetently completed, or they know the doctor or facility who performed the first autopsy has a history of providing incomplete or botched work.
During a second autopsy, Dr. Chundru will review all provided records from the first autopsy, such as the autopsy report, photos, law enforcement documents, and medical record documents.
In addition to reviewing these records, Dr. Chundru will also physically view the body and analyze tissues taken from the first autopsy. This process of viewing and analyzing already collected tissues and samples requires a great deal of training and expertise, and while Dr. Chundru has this training and expertise, and is one of only 500 board-certified Forensic Pathologists in the country, the vast majority of physical reviews yield no additional findings. The most vital part of a second autopsy is Dr. Chundru’s review of the records provided rather than physical observation, simply because the provided tissues have already been processed during the first autopsy.
Though a Medical Examiner’s Office may conduct an autopsy when a person passes away, there are cases in which the family of a loved one may request a second autopsy. Most commonly, this is to get information and answers that the Medical Examiner’s Office hasn’t provided.
Unlike the preliminary autopsy, a second autopsy generally does not require a physical examination. The analysis usually relies on the samples and reports that the Medical Examiner’s Office has already prepared. This means that a second autopsy can take place long after the first examination and following the funeral if necessary.
Dr. Chundru has extensive experience supporting the families of loved ones in these cases. Based on a family’s preference, he can also work with its legal representatives in coordinating and reporting on the second autopsy.
Performing these procedures requires an advanced level of care and expertise because of the complexity involved. Dr. Chundru has been in practice for nearly 15 years as a Board-Certified Forensic Pathologist — only one of about 500 doctors in the United States with this qualification. Clients choose him for his professional and compassionate approach, attention to detail, and respect for the needs of the family.
Choosing to Perform a Second Autopsy
Families often struggle with the decision to request a second autopsy. Yet making this choice can give them the type of closure they may not find through any other means. A private examination with Dr. Chundru offers families:
Dr. Chundru communicates with clients to understand what their goals are, to help them know what is possible with a second autopsy, and to ensure that they understand his findings. Close coordination lets families know that their needs and questions have been addressed.
A Comprehensive Review
As a professional in private practice, Dr. Chundru can give each examination the time and attention it requires. Simultaneously, his focused approach means that clients tend to receive answers much faster in a second autopsy than following the first examination. Dr. Chundru usually provides his final report much more quickly than the standard 60 days followed by a Medical Examiner’s Office.
Dr. Chundru’s Forensic, investigative, and analytical background is of excellent quality. Prior to entering private practice, he spent 10 years as the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for Travis County in Austin, Texas, and he received his training from one of the nation’s most prestigious fellowship programs.
What Clients Can Expect with a Second Autopsy
Following the preliminary autopsy, the family or its legal representatives will contact Dr. Chundru to discuss his work. This initial phone conversation will be an important opportunity for potential clients to ask questions about his services and to decide whether a procedure can provide the answers they are seeking.
After prospective clients decide to move forward, they will provide Dr. Chundru with access to the resources he will need in preparing his report. This may include:
- Records from the initial autopsy.
- Medical history records.
- Police and hospital reports.
Dr. Chundru’s analysis will focus on the areas of concern that the family or its legal representatives have outlined in their initial discussions. He will produce a written report for the client’s review and will also be available for any follow-up questions.
Important Questions About a Second Autopsy
Is a second autopsy necessary?
The reasons that clients choose to have a second autopsy performed vary, and so the answer to this question depends on the client’s needs. Dr. Chundru encourages prospective clients to get in touch so that he can help them understand what a second autopsy can and cannot accomplish.
Do I need to delay the funeral until after the second autopsy is complete?
In nearly all cases, it is not necessary to delay the funeral of a loved one until after the second autopsy. Clients often consider a second autopsy because they have concerns about the conclusions of the initial autopsy — not about the examination process itself. Dr. Chundru can typically rely on the validity of the initial autopsy’s samples, data, and medical reports rather than conducting a second physical examination. He can discuss this as part of a client’s consultation.
How long will the second autopsy report take?
Every case will vary depending on the type of information clients are looking for. As an experienced practitioner, Dr. Chundru is always working to provide his reports in a timely manner after receiving the resources he requires for his analysis. This timeline is dependent on the client’s needs. The efficiency in his work allows families and their legal representatives to make timely decisions related to their loved ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I need to have a second autopsy completed?
When families have questions about the original cause of death determination made by the state/local medical examiner or coroner, they may request a private second autopsy to be completed by Dr. Chundru. Having a second opinion can help families with insurance issues and lawsuits. It also provides them with peace of mind and closure.
Should I seek out a board-certified forensic pathologist for my second autopsy?
Absolutely! Only a board certified forensic pathologist has the training and education needed to perform an accurate second autopsy. Dr. Chundru is board certified and has almost 15 years of experience performing autopsies for families from all over the United States. He investigates cases for individuals, families, law enforcement, and businesses every year.
How is a second autopsy performed differently than a first autopsy?
Unlike a first autopsy, a second autopsy usually does not require a physical examination of the deceased. The analysis usually relies on the samples and reports that the medical examiner’s office has already prepared.
How quickly should a second autopsy be completed after the first autopsy?
Because a physical examination of the body is rarely required, Dr. Chundru can perform a second autopsy any time after the first one has been completed. Some families even request a second autopsy months after the death of a loved one.
Can a second autopsy help prove wrongful death?
It is possible for a second autopsy to reveal findings that the first autopsy missed. Therefore, proving a wrongful death case is possible through a second autopsy. This is just one of the many reasons why families choose to have a second autopsy performed.
Will I be able to have a consultation with Dr. Chundru before he performs the second autopsy?
Yes. Because Dr. Chundru cares about his clients and their goals, he makes a point to meet with the family to discuss what they hope to find in performing the second autopsy. This also allows him to let families know whether or not a second autopsy will help give them the answers they want.
How quickly will I receive Dr. Chundru’s second autopsy report?
Because of Dr. Chundru’s focused approach to forensic pathology, he is able to provide families with results more quickly than they received the first report – and faster than the standard 60 days, which is the timeframe usually followed by medical examiners and coroners.
What will Dr. Chundru need in order to perform the second autopsy?
Families or legal representatives requesting a second autopsy must provide appropriate resources, such as records from the initial autopsy, medical history records, and police and hospital reports.
Will health insurance pay for a second autopsy?
No. Second autopsies are private pay and are not covered under any health insurance plan such as Medicaid or Medicare.
If I don’t live in Texas, can Dr. Chundru still perform a second autopsy?
Of course! Since most second autopsies do not require a physical examination of the body, Dr. Chundru is able to perform a second autopsy for anyone, from anywhere. If Dr. Chundru determines he will need to re-examine the body, he will make arrangements to transfer the body to his location in order to do so.
If you are seeking additional answers following a preliminary examination, contact Dr. Chundru to learn more about a second autopsy. Reach him online or by calling (305) 283-3371.