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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Autopsy

Indications for Autopsy

General:  Cases selected for autopsy can include but not limited to:

  • Deaths in which due cause is unknown or unanticipated
  • Deaths in which there are significant questions concerning effectiveness of  therapy/extent of disease
  • Deaths in which the family expresses concerns or requires reassurance
  • Deaths when genetic diseases are suspected but not confirmed prior to death
  • Deaths which have occurred during diagnostic/therapeutic procedures
  • Sudden, unexpected or unexplained deaths in the hospital which are apparently natural and not subject to a forensic medical jurisdiction.
  • Deaths of patients with medical condition on course that is of educational interest or value

Special Indications:

  • Unexpected or unexplained death occurring during or following any dental, medical or surgical diagnostic or therapeutic procedure.  Review by the Coroner's office may be indicated
  • Natural deaths that are ordinarily subject to a forensic jurisdiction, such as the following:
    • Persons dead on arrival at the hospital
    • Deaths occurring in the hospital within 24 hours after admission
    • Deaths in which the patient sustained or apparently sustained an injury while hospitalized
  • Deaths resulting from high risk infections and contagious diseases
  • Outside facilities with special contract for autopsy coverage