The Kane County coroner’s office has acquired new X-ray equipment that will save money and, in some cases, offset the need for a full post mortem exam.
The coroner uses X-rays when screening a body for broken bones to determine abuse, finding the exact locations of a bullet in a gunshot victim or cuts from wounds suffered by a stabbing victim, among other uses.
Previously when X-rays were needed, the coroner’s office had to pay a hospital to do the X-ray.
“Having the X-ray equipment in-house lets us operate more efficiently and frees up the hospital technician for medical issues involving the living,” Kane County Coroner Rob Russell said in a news release.
The $140,000 machine may also help avoid a more extensive post mortem examination, such as in the case of a COVID death. COVID deaths typically reveal an image referred to as ‘ground glass’ inside the lungs.
“By using the X-ray equipment on-site, we limit the time grieving individuals need to spend interacting with our office,” Russell said.
The coroner’s office investigates sudden, unusual or suspicious deaths in Kane County. Last year the coroner completed 330 autopsies.
After years of being housed in a location long-deemed inadequate, the coroner’s staff moved into a new 11,000 square foot space in 2021. The new office features expanded refrigerator and freezer storage, a more advanced autopsy room, new office space and amenities.
“We are committed to taking good care of the individuals that come into our facility,” Russell said. “We are committed to expedite our process so that families can choose a funeral home and start the process of saying goodbye as quickly as possible.”