What protective gear is worn during an autopsy?

1 Answer
May 11, 2016

The protective gear implemented during an autopsy varies greatly from autopsy to autopsy. The gear utilized is contingent upon how contagious the departed is.


A lab coat, surgical gown, and scrubs are typically used to protect the person conducting the autopsy. These garments protect the person conducting the autopsy by providing a barrier between their skin or clothes and the deceased's bodily fluids.

Eye and face protection usually take the form of a face shield, a firm plastic barrier which extends from the forehead to below the chin, this aids in inhibiting facial contact with bodily fluids (our dearly departed are deeply loved but not very tasty [...or so I've heard... clears throat...]). Some medical examiners or forensic pathologists choose to utilize a surgical mask under their face guards (this is especially true for those autopsies that are considered "high-risk" [that is the person performing the autopsy could get sick from the deceased's bodily fluids]).

Gloves beit, latex, nitrile, or vinyl are always a must. This may go without saying but gloves prevent the person performing the autopsy from coming into direct contact with the deceased's body. In my experience (in labs --I don't have experience with autopsies) gloves also serve as a great reminder not to touch your nose, eyes, or ears (they kind of scream: "Hey! You just touched something dangerous don't even think about touching your face!")

I hope this helped!