ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A jump in toxicology tests sent to a New Mexico laboratory has created a backlog delaying some death investigations for months.
KRQE-TV reports (http://goo.gl/ae9b7V) the delay began last year when Office of the Medical Investigator began sending every toxicology request to the Scientific Laboratory Division, the lone forensic toxicology lab for New Mexico.
Officials say the change doubled the total number of cases the lab handles. They say comprehensive toxicology screenings have increased more than tenfold.
The lab says it's losing highly trained people to burnout.
Before last year, an out-of-state laboratory was contracted to do the work.
A spokesman for OMI said the office views the problem as a vendor issue: if the laboratory can't deliver timely toxicology reports, OMI can't issue timely death certificates.
Information from: KRQE-TV, http://www.krqe.com
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