AAPT and RCPath President Dr Michael Osborn and his colleague Dr Brian Hanley, explain the value of post mortems
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented a challenge for autopsy practice in the UK.
There was a large peak in the number of COVID-19-related deaths during March, April and May 2020 in England and it would have been beneficial to have established a national COVID-19 autopsy network.
This would have enabled pathologists to assess the pathological features of COVID-19 on a wider scale. Because of existing strains on the autopsy service nationally, a reduction in hospital autopsies in recent decades and the speed with which COVID-19 spread globally, only a handful of centres across the UK were able to perform autopsies on these cases.