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Kittitas County Coroner’s Office purchases portable X-ray machine that enables enhanced investigations and saves county thousands of dollars from autopsy and X-ray fees

Bureau of Justice Assistance | Oct 16, 2023

The portable X-ray machine has truly been an asset to the Kittitas County Coroner’s Office (KCCO) and to KCCO’s investigations. In the past, those cases requiring X-rays had to be transported to a local hospital for imaging, at considerable expense to KCCO. As a result, KCCO was very selective when it came to scheduling cases for imaging. Since KCCO has received their portable X-ray machine, they have enhanced their investigation to support their forensic pathologists by providing X-rays on any case in which it appeared they would be advantageous to have. In several cases, the KCCO pathologist has been able to certify cause and manner of death by reviewing scene photos and X-rays, thereby avoiding a costly autopsy which would have been required in the absence of the images. In a recent gunshot death, KCCO was able to locate projectiles in an area they did not expect them to be found based upon their initial review of the wounds. This saved a considerable amount of time at autopsy. Overall, having access to their own dedicated X-ray machine has enabled KCCO to perform better investigations with more accurate results, while, at the same time, saving their county thousands of dollars in autopsy fees and hospital X-ray fees. The convenience of being able to obtain images at KCCO’s facility without having to transport back and forth to the hospital is a great advantage as well.