Skip navigation

Evidence Collection

The collection of forensic samples from the patient during the medical forensic examination should proceed from the medical forensic history provided by the patient and the physical examination. In some cases, the patient may be unable to provide the history (in the case of lapse of consciousness due to alcohol or drug intoxication [voluntary or involuntary]) or may be developmentally unable to relate the details. 

In these cases, the collection of samples may include the collection of—

  • Oral swabs
  • Peri oral swabs
  • Swabs of the neck area
  • Swabs of the breast area in the female
  • Swabs of the patient's hands
  • Swabs of the patient's fingernails
  • Swabs of any areas of injury or that fluoresce with alternative light source (ALS)
  • Genital swabs – external genitalia in the female and male
  • Internal vaginal swabs in the female or trans-masculine individual who still has a vagina (exception for pre-pubertal children)
  • Collection of any debris or foreign materials identified
  • Buccal swabs or blood for the patient's DNA

Examination adjuncts may be used to assist the physical assessment of the patient. Programs may have policies to address the training needed and the use of these examination tools. They include the use of toluidine blue dye to highlight injuries in the ano-genital area, tracing the hymen, or floating the hymen.

For more information, please refer to the National Protocol - Examination Process: Exam and Evidence Collection Procedures.