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Toxicological testing

  • VFPMS Guideline: Toxicological testing

    Toxicology tests might be considered when ingestion or poisoning is possible as a result of care-giver neglect or intentional exposure/ ingestion. Also consider toxicology tests in children with unexplained altered conscious state, head injury, thermal injury and sexual assault.

    Key points:

    • Consult with forensic experts before collecting samples.
    • Ensure chain of evidence procedures if sending samples to forensic laboratory.
    • Collect blood and urine if ingestion or poisoning was within prior 24 hours.
    • Collect urine if ingestion or poisoning was more than 24 hours previously.
    • Consult with VFPMS if considering sampling hair for toxicological analysis.

    Forensic toxicology laboratories and hospital biochemistry laboratories differ significantly in the analytical techniques used for drug detection and in the way that results are reported. Send samples to the laboratory that can perform the required tests.