Deaths Involving INJURY or POISONING | Print |

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Medicolegal death investigation by Medical Examiners Coroners

Most states have laws requiring that deaths known or suspected as having resulted from injury or poisoning, regardless of the interval between onset and death, be reported to the Medical Examiner or Coroner (ME/C) for investigation. This includes not only deaths that immediately follow injury, but deaths such as those due to delayed complications of injuries such as post-traumatic seizures, complications of hip fractures due to falls, infectious complications of thermal burns, pulmonary emboli following trauma, and many others that may "masquerade" as non-trauma deaths. Deaths of persons for whom there is no attending physician ("unattended deaths") may also need to be reported to the ME/C. In the case of death known or suspected to have resulted from injury or poisoning, you should assure that the death has been reported to the medical examiner/coroner as required by state law. The medical examiner/coroner will either complete the cause-of-death section of the death certificate or waive the responsibility. If the medical examiner/coroner does not accept the case, then you will need to complete the cause-of-death section.

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