Autopsy: Emergency Room


The three-part Channel 4 series Autopsy: Emergency Room takes you on a unique and fascinating journey through the human body to see what happens when our bodies are damaged or injured. Guiding you through this journey will be anatomist Dr Gunther von Hagens and consultant in emergency medicine Dr John Heyworth. Dr von Hagens carries out dissections on donated bodies to demonstrate trauma, while Dr Heyworth talks us through the processes happening within the body as a result of different types of injury.

Episode Description


Lesson 1: Minutes from Death

Through dissecting donated human cadavers, some of which have been plastinated, Dr von Hagens demonstrates how blocking or damaging the airways can cause irreversible harm to the body and cause death in a matter of minutes. He also shows how such outcomes can be avoided by taking sometimes drastic measures; for example, by creating an artificial airway when the windpipe is otherwise blocked. The presenters investigate natural spasms that can affect breathing under certain conditions, such as drowning. And they demonstrate how such natural reflexes can sometimes be used to help save a patient.


Lesson 2: Massive Blood Loss

Dr von Hagens examines the effects bleeding can have on the human body and how ultimately it can cause death. Using cross-sections of donated human cadavers, the hosts demonstrate what happens to the body when stabbed in different places. They also show the effects of internal bleeding and demonstrate how it can impact on different parts of the body, such as causing a build-up of pressure around the heart.


Lesson 3: Violent Impact