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Diatoms are algae, microscopic unicellular plants that can be found in saltwater, freshwater, soils and on damp surfaces.

In a case of “common drowning”, water, containing diatoms, enters the lungs and then passes into the bloodstream where the diatoms are circulated around the body to all body organs.

The presence or absence of diatoms within the lungs and other body organs can assist in establishing whether drowning was the cause of death or significantly contributed to the cause of death. Please contact us for advice on sample collection and submission at the earliest opportunity.

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