Anatomy Students Visit Coroner’s Office


Students in Ms. Anjel Guitroz’s Anatomy classes applied their medical terminology and anatomy knowledge in a practical setting when 19 of them took a field trip to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office. During the visit, they heard several lectures and also toured the morgue for a close-up view of various organs.


Science teacher Anjel Guitroz with anatomy class students examining specimens at the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office morgue.

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Dana Troxclair gave a presentation on the different causes of death as determined by autopsy, including drug overdose, gunshot wounds and diseases such as myocarditis (heart disease), emphysema (lung condition) and cirrhosis (hardening) of the liver. Crime Investigator Ms. Erin Mathes (DHS 2007) spoke about interviewing witnesses and how evidence is collected and handled. Forensic Toxicologist Mrs. Melva Williams (DHS 1976) covered the process of determining the presence of any drugs in a deceased person and identifying those drugs using the vitreous humor from the eye. The specimen is then run through a gas chromatograph and the linked computerized database can identify almost any drug that’s present.


Mrs. Melva Williams explains the tests a forensic toxicologist runs to determine the presence of drugs in a deceased person.