Types of Death which will be Autopsied

ACCIDENTAL DEATHS

  1. Asphyxiation by gagging on foreign substance, including food in the airway; compression of the airway or chest by hand, material, or ligature; drowning; handling cyanide; exclusion of oxygen; carbon monoxide; and/or other gasses causing suffocation.
  2. Blows or other forms of mechanical violence.
  3. Burns from fire, liquid, chemical, radiation or electricity.
  4. Carbon monoxide poisoning.
  5. Cutting, stabbing or gunshot wounds.
  6. Electrocution
  7. Drowning (actual or suspected)
  8. Drug 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 occurred.
  9. Explosion
  10. Falls, including hip fractures or other injury.
  11. Stillborn or newborn infant death where there is recent or past traumatic event involving the mother, such as a vehicular accident, homicide, suicide attempt, or drug ingestion that may have precipitated delivery or had a detrimental effect to the newborn.
  12. Vehicular accident, (driver, passenger and pedestrian)
  13. Weather related death including lightening, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or tornado.

HOMICIDAL DEATHS

By any means, suspected or known.

SUICIDAL DEATHS

By any means, suspected or known.

SUDDEN DEATHS

If the death occurs while in apparent good health or in any suspicious or unusual manner including:

Infants and young children - Any infant or young child found dead shall be reported, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (S.I.D.S or Crib Death).

Deaths occurring while in any jail, confinement or custody.

Deaths under unknown circumstances whenever there are no witnesses or where little or no information can be elicited concerning the deceased person.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Any death involving allegation of suspicious medical malpractice or possible poor medical/surgical care. Any maternal or infant death where there is suspicious or illegal interference by unethical or unqualified persons or self-induction. "Delayed death" which 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 initiation 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 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.

THERAPEUTIC COMPLICATIONS

Death occurring under the influence of anesthesia, during the 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.

Death during or following any diagnostic or therapeutic procedure whether medical or survival time if death is thought to be directly related to the procedure of complications from said procedure.

Death due to administration of a drug, serum, vaccine, or any other substance for any diagnostic, therapeutic or immunological purpose.

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.

Only the Coroner can legally sign a death certificate of a person who has died as a direct or indirect result of any cause listed in the previously mentioned reportable deaths.