Types Of Death That Are Investigated By The County Coroner Or Medical Examiners Office:
The following types of death must be investigated
by the Coroner or Medical Examiners Office regardless of the time
period involved from the incident to the time of death if the person
did not regain their health to a status equal to or better than their
health at the time of the incident:
Falls, including hip fractures or other injury.
Any blunt force or mechanical injury.
Cuttings and stabbings.
by gagging or foreign substance, including food, in the airway;
compression of the airway or chest, by hand, material or ligature;
drowning; hanging; cyanide; exclusion of oxygen; carbon monoxide;
and/or other gases causing suffocation.
accidents including auto, bus, train, motorcycle, bicycle, watercraft,
snowmobile, or aircraft, including driver, passenger, or related
non-passenger, such as being struck by parts flying or thrown from a
Weather related death including lightning, heat exhaustion, hypothermia, or tornado.
overdose from medication, chemical, or poison ingestion, whether it is
actual or suspected. This includes any medical substance, narcotic, or
alcoholic beverage, whether sudden, short, or long term survival has
Burns from fire, liquid, chemical, radiation or electricity.
Deaths from electrocution.
or newborn infant death where there is a recent or past traumatic event
involving the mother, such as vehicular accident, homicide, suicide
attempt, or drug ingestion that may have precipitated delivery or had
a detrimental effect to the newborn.
Homicidal Deaths (By any means, suspected or known)
Suicidal Deaths (By any means, suspected or known)
Deaths during or after an unexplained, acute, rapidly fatal illness.
instantaneous death without obvious natural cause, including Sudden
Infant Death Syndrome (S.I.D.S. or Crib Death)
Where the attending physician has no reasonable explanation or opinion of death.
D.O.A. or occurring within 24 hours of entry to a hospital.
(Investigation may reveal that a physician who has treated the deceased
is available and legally authorized to sign the death certificate. This
will be decided on an individual case basis.)
under unknown circumstances, whenever there are no witnesses, or where
little or no information can be found concerning the deceased.
in which the environment of present or past employment may have caused
or contributed to death by trauma or disease. Deaths in this
classification include caisson disease (bends), industrial infections,
pneumoconiosis, present or past exposure to toxic waste or product
(including nuclear products, asbestos, or coal dust), fractures, burns,
or any other injury received during employment or as a result of past
employment, which may have contributed to death.
Death occurring while in any jail, confinement or custody.
occurring while under the influence of anesthesia, during anesthetic
induction, during the post-anesthetic period without the patient
regaining consciousness, and including death following long term
survival if the original incident is thought to be related to the
surgical procedure and /or anesthetic agent.
during or following any diagnostic or therapeutic procedure whether
medical or surgical, regardless of the location, circumstances, or
survival time if death is thought to be directly related to the
procedure or complications resulting from said procedure, regardless of
length of time.
Death due to the administration
of a drug, serum, vaccine, or any other substance for any diagnostic,
therapeutic, or immunological purpose.
Any death involving allegations of suspicious medical malpractice or possibly poor medical/surgical care.
maternal or infant death where there is a suspicion of illegal
interference by unethical or unqualified persons or self induction.
death" is an unusual type of case where the immediate cause of death
may actually be from natural disease. However, injury may have occurred
days, weeks, months or even years before death, and is responsible for
initiating the sequence of medical conditions or events leading to
death. This would be considered a coroner's case and is therefore
reportable. The most common examples of this type of case are past
traffic and industrial accidents with debilitating injury and long term
care in a nursing home, and hip fractures of the elderly where there is
a downward course of condition after the injury. Any death where there is a doubt, question or suspicion.
Not all reported cases fall into the above
categories. After the investigation is completed, many will be returned
to the jurisdiction or institution where the death certificate will be
signed by the attending physician as a natural death.
Any unattended death at home or in a public or outdoor space.