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FAA’s Aerospace Medical Research in Forensic Toxicology

Dept. of Transportation

Photo credit: The IZone Crew @ CAMI

In the featured image above, biological specimens from fatal aviation accident victims are received and catalogued by the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) forensic sciences laboratory for subsequent toxicological evaluation. Postmortem fluids and tissues are analyzed for the presence of over-the-counter prescription and illicit drugs, and toxic combustion gases. Results from such testing are used to aid in the investigation of an aviation accident, and for epidemiological studies of drug prevalence and trends. As new drugs such as synthetic opioids enter the market, methods are developed to accurately quantify their presence in accident victims, allowing the assessment of factors that may have contributed to the accident.

The Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) is the medical certification, education, research, and occupational medicine wing of the Office of Aerospace Medicine under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Aviation Safety. The mission of the Aerospace Medical Research Division is “to develop new and innovative ways to support FAA regulatory and advisory missions to improve the safety of humans in civilian aerospace operations” by applying science, medicine, bioengineering, and technology.

To learn more about CAMI and its available laboratory resources, view the laboratory profile on FLC Business: https://www.federallabs.org/labs/federal-aviation-administration-faa-civil-aerospace-medical-institute

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