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Nursing home personnel should be familiar with all types of deaths to be reported to the Medical Examiner (see above).

Deaths which occur in nursing homes are not required to be reported to the medical examiner just because death occurred in a nursing home. The same applies to a licensed hospice. If the patient died from a natural disease process or from the natural sequelae of a natural disease process while under the care of a physician who is willing to sign the death certificate, such deaths need not be reported. Cases of suspected abuse, neglect, or euthanasia should be reported, as should any death which meets any of the other criteria which require reporting, such as evidence of injury or poisoning.

The most frequent type of nursing home death that is reported to this office involves fracture cases and other accidental deaths. Death following all injury producing events, if recovery is considered incomplete (without return to original or normal level of activities), or if the injury is thought to have contributed to the cause of death (regardless of the interval between injury and death), are to be reported. This includes all post-traumatic seizure disorders and pulmonary emboli following hip fracture or other injury. All deaths as the result of gunshot wounds (such as delayed death from pneumonia related to quadriplegia from a gunshot wound in the past) must be reported.

If there is any doubt as to whether to report a death or not, please report the death and let our investigators make the determination as to jurisdiction.


When notifying the Medical Examiner of a reportable death, be prepared to relate the following data:

a. Patient's name

b. Residence address

c. Date of birth and birthplace

d. Social Security Number

e. Name, address and telephone of next-of-kin

f. Date and time of death

g. Reason for reporting death

h. Attending physician and whether he/she will sign the death certificate

I. Medical History

j. Probable cause of death

k. Funeral home selected to make the removal

If there are any further questions that our office may answer, please phone 404-730-4400.


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Fulton County Medical Examiner

430 Pryor Street SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30312
Phone: 404-613-4400
Fax: 404-613-2463
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