Analyzing A Blood Sample Containing Drugs

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When analyzing a blood sample containing drugs, often a normal scale or balance cannot detect the mass of the drugs in the sample due to the small size of the sample. In that case, in order to properly determine the mass of a drug in a sample, it becomes necessary to utilize a mass spectrometer. A mass spectrometer can measure the mass of atomic-sized particles with great accuracy (Jeol, 2006). In forensic toxicology, mass spectrometry can provide scientists with the identity and quantity of a drug in a sample (Christopher Tilson, personal communication, March 19, 21016). Mass spectrometry serves as an exceptionally useful method in the field of forensic drug analysis, as its ability to determine the mass of exceedingly small particles assists in the classification and quantification of drugs in a sample. Before analyzation of a blood sample using mass spectrometry can occur, separation of the drugs from the blood must take place. If sent directly into the mass spectrometer, the blood would create too many peaks in the results. Not to mention, the blood would make the mass spectrometer too dirty to provide accurate results (Christopher Tilson, personal communications, March 19, 2016). Due to these facts, forensic scientists always spate the drugs from the blood sample using one of two methods. The first method, called liquid extraction, works by adding liquids of different polarities to the blood sample. By choosing the right solvents, the drugs will separate from the blood.
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