Written Answers. - Post-Mortem Results.

Seán Power

Ceist:

256 Mr. Power asked the Minister for Finance the reason for the delay in obtaining the results of a post-mortem (details supplied). [27597/01]

In 2000 the State laboratory received approximately 1,500 samples for analysis under the Coroners Acts. Indications are this figure will be exceeded in 2001. Post-mortem samples from autopsies are analysed to assist the coroners to establish the cause of death in cases of sudden death. In the case of simpler analyses the samples are usually returned to coroners – and copied to hospital pathologists – within two to three weeks. Where more complex analyses are required, the average turn-around time is three to four months because a number of discrete steps must be taken in sequence. In the case in question, samples were received in mid-August and a report is expected by the end of November.