In cases with suspicion of poisoning, drug deaths, homicides and non solved cases, investigations will be made for medicine and - depending on the circumstances - drugs.
Personal examination cases
When the Police require a forensic person examination at Department of Forensic Medicine, blood and urin tests will be taken for analysis. For instance, in cases of violence or rape, tests will be taken from both the suspected perpetrator and the victim. The purpose is to investigate whether influence of medication or drugs can play an important role in the case. Medicine and drugs disappear relatively fast from the blood, but can be traced for a longer time in the urin, typically for a couple of days, depending on which drug.
Drug identification will be made
at forensic autopsies
at person examinations of victims and perpetrators
at confiscated drug-effects
Analyses will be made after request by the Police or the legal system within the Department district, i.e. Funen, and Southern Jutland. The analyses are made in order to identify and estimate concentrations of medicine, narcotics and other unknown drugs. For a start, screenings analyses will be made, where drugs of unknown nature will be identified by means of gascromatography with mass spectrometry technology (GC-MS). After this the concentration of the findings will be estimated and verified by using high pressure liquid concentration technology (HPLC) compared to known standard drugs. Negative as well as positive findings will be reported in a chemical statement, which is part of the final forensic report.
In 2015 the department produced in total 1902 Chemical forensic statements divided in to alcohol-, toxicolical and illegal drugs, and narcotics analyses.
About the Department
Unit of Forensic Chemistry is carrying out blood alcohol level tests in autopsy cases, where blood alcohol level is just a part of a larger analysis programme of medicine and drugs. The blood alchol level in theses cases can be estimated through tests from blood samples, urin or eye liquid.
The samples are collected in teams and analysed together with control samples of known content. The analysis is run by socalled headspace gascromatography with flame ionisation detector.
The results of the investigations are written in a forensic statement, where the results after deduction - the socalled lowest value - is forming the basis for the police evaluation and the possible following conviction.
Facts about the department's variety of analyses and names of medicaments and drugs examined:
- Opioids (Morphine, Oxycodone, Methadone, Naloxone, Ketogan etc.)
- Central stimulating drugs (amfetamin, methylphenidat etc.)
- Psycedelic drugs (Khat, MDA, Metamfetamin)
- Circulation stimulating drugs (Dopamin, Aderenalin, Noradrenalin etc.)
- Local anaesthetics (Lidocain, Xylocain etc.)
- Antipsycotics (Flupentixol, Chlor-prothixen, Quetiapin, Levomepromazin etc.)
- Antidepressants (Venlafaxin, Sertralin, Imipramin. Nortriptylin etc.)
- Βeta-blockers (Propranolol)
- Anticholinergical medicaments (procyclidin)
- Antagonists of adrenergical receptors (Mirtazapin, Mianserin)
- Antihistamines (Hydroxyzin, Alime-mazine etc.)
- Benzodiazepines (7-amino-nitrazepam, Diazepam, Clonazepam etc.)
- Analgetics (Tramadol, Levorphanol, Para-cetamol, Ibuprofen etc.)
- Cannabinoids (Cannabis etc.)
- Special analyses (COHb, Ketones)
Besides the above mentioned main tasks, the department is also taking part in teaching, research and ongoing international and national projects, such as for instance surveillance of drug additct deaths in Denmark, monitoring of drugs in the streets, monitoring of new drugs in Denmark (Early Warning System), mapping of risk factors of deaths among mentally ill persons (Survive) among other things.
Recently, a phd-project was carried out in the department in collaboration with Department of Clinical Pharmacology.