How Long After Death Can A Toxicology Report Be Done (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Within One Week

Toxicology is a surgical procedure that requires the surgeon or the practitioner to examine the corpse thoroughly by dissecting the whole body. This procedure is essential because the result of this surgery determines the cause of death of the person or an animal.

It determines the cause, mode, and manner of the death of an animal or a person. However, toxicology results can be used to evaluate any injury or disease for research and educational purposes. Toxicology can only be performed by specialist forensic experts who have deep knowledge of all the things related to forensic science.

How Long After Death Can A Toxicology Report Be Done

How Long After Death Can A Toxicology Report Be Done?

The soon the surgical procedure is performed, the better it would be. Toxicology conducted on dead bodies should be done as soon as possible but no later than six hours after the death. Doctors say that the tissues present inside the body deteriorate rapidly. However, on the other hand, if an autopsy has to be conducted, then that too has to be done as soon as possible. Following the death of a person, it should take about two to three days for the procedure to be conducted on the dead person.

Medical practitioners and doctors recommend that toxicology should be conducted as soon as possible for extracting better results from the surgical procedure. The information extracted after the surgery could be a piece of helpful information. The examination could last for about three hours. Toxicology needs to be done, and when a person dies suddenly, then doctors need to make that critical decision about whether you want to go for toxicology or not. Sudden death could lead to many questions arising inside the mind, and doctors must know the exact reason for the death.

EventsInformation Regarding The Events
Duration Of ToxicologyTwo weeks
Time After Death For ToxicologyWithin one week of the death

Toxicology is a long process as multiple tests are conducted on the body of the dead living being. The duration of toxicology is around two weeks. In contrast, it is advised to do toxicology within one week of death.

Why Does It Take That long After Death For Toxicology Report To Be Done?

There is no time as to when toxicology could be performed after the death. However, doctors ensure that if the surgery needs to be done, then it needs to be done as soon as possible following the death. To find how a person died, the doctors first have to monitor the physical changes in the body and later go with the surgical procedure. This is the main reason why the body is kept after three weeks. After the Pallor Mortis and Algor Mortis signs are noted, the surgeons go for the next sign, the Rigor Mortis. This is one of the crucial signs to determine the time of death of a person. This is called stiff death, as it occurs due to the contraction of muscles in the body.

The brain activity gradually reduces after death and then stops entirely. Therefore the brain cannot give signals to the muscles to contract, and therefore the muscles remain relaxed. This is called Primary Flaccidity. This lasts for one to two hours after the death. Rigor Mortis is more reliable than Algor Mortis because it is not affected by any external conditions. The next sign is Liver Mortis. Usually, blood moves through the entire body with the help of the heart.


It takes that long after death for the toxicology report to be done because doctors don’t want the body to deteriorate. This deterioration is called lividity, and it starts to become fixed after six hours. This happens because the blood vessels will start to break down. Then a purple color develops after eight to twelve hours. The purple color develops because of the deoxygenation of hemoglobin.


Overall, it can be concluded that with Toxicology, the time of death is determined, and the cause of death can be determined. Toxicology follows a pattern where first the fingerprint of the victim is taken. An x-ray is taken to find the bone dislocations or bullet locations in the body, and similarly, all external examinations will be done.

On average, Toxicology must be done within a week after the death of a person. All the organs are pulled out from the body for further examination. The final stage is the head and brain examination. All these are done correctly by the surgeons, and so it takes two weeks to complete Toxicology.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. It’s fascinating how the body changes after death and how forensic experts can use these changes to determine time and cause of death.

  2. The time after death for toxicology is an important factor to consider. This post provides valuable insights.

  3. Toxicology is truly a specialized field, and this article highlights the expertise required for such procedures.

    1. I’ve read that there are new technologies that can expedite the toxicology process. It would be interesting to see how they are implemented.

  4. The information on the timeline for toxicology after death is essential knowledge for anyone interested in forensics.

    1. I’m amazed at how much information can be extracted from the body after death. The determination of time and cause of death is remarkable.

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