if u have a patient die on the operating table, do you leave the E.T. tube, lines ect in place when you send them to the morgue. the other night we had this situation and one of my colleagues wanted to take everything out for the family viewing however I felt everything should have been left in until the autopsy. is there a published paper on this?
Jul 29, '03
It depends on if there will be an inquest/autopsy or not.
If there will be an inquest/autopsy, all tubes, IV fluids attached, clothing etc. is left intact. Your facility should have a list of issues that require a coroner's call. Some of those cases will be passed on by the coroner, and then you remove the tubes - but not until s/he decides that no inquest is called for.
Generally, if there will be no autopsy/inquest, all tubes are removed and the deceased is made presentable, if the family wishes to view the patient.
A lot of deathes on the table are coroner's cases, due to the nature of injuries.
Jul 30, '03
Carolina has given the right advice!! You have to check your coroner's act - there should be a copy available in your hospital library.
Here a death in theatre is automatically a coroner's case. Leave everything in unless you have permission to remove them. Sometimes you also have to have the police to witness the death and escort the body to the morgue.
Don't the police get some of the WORST jobs??
Aug 12, '03
While I am not familiar with OR, I do know that here in Delaware, everything is left in place....just in case. We clean the patient as best as we can if the family would like to view the body, but nothing is removed.
Aug 13, '03
They are right. It depends if it is a "coroners case"
Mostly unexplained deaths inder 24 hours.
At our hospital, the doctor calls the coroner, explains the situation and 99% of the time, it is not a Coroners case.
Aug 13, '03
Our hospital, if an autopsy is requested, all tubes stay in place.
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