We performed automatic continuous monitoring of rectal and ambient temperatures using button-type thermo data loggers in autopsy cases. The button-type data loggers have a battery-powered memory that can record 2048 temperature readings. The measurement intervals and other initial settings are determined by computer software, and the measurements were taken at 5-min intervals for this study. At autopsy, the data loggers were retrieved and recorded temperature graphs were produced. This study obtained three representative cases. In one case, the button-type data logger was not discharged regardless of how the body was moved after the device was inserted into the rectum. In two other cases, the cooling curves of the rectal temperature readings clearly followed changes in ambient cooling conditions. The advantages of the tested devices are their small size (diameter, 17.4 mm; thickness, 5.9 mm) and ease of insertion into the rectum, requiring no special skills. Many temperature-based algorithms to determine time of death have been developed, and as a matter of course, the temperature values must be accurate and reliable. Ensuring the validity of each temperature reading requires continuous data from an internal data logger. A button-type data logger is ideal for this purpose.
- Autopsy case
- Button-type thermo data logger
- Rectal temperature
- Time of death
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects