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Reporting Criteria for Hospital, Nursing Home Deaths

HOSPITAL AND NURSING HOME DEATH REPORTING CRITERIA

All duties of death investigation are the responsibility of the County Medical Examiner according to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 49.25. The following deaths must be reported immediately to the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office:

  1. All Emergency Department deaths.
  2. All deaths within 24 hours of entry into the hospital.
  3. All trauma deaths, even those which may be remotely related to trauma. This includes all deaths in which a fractured hip has occurred and injury during hospitalization. It would naturally include homicides, accidents and suicides.
  4. All deaths under anesthesia and the immediate post-anesthesia period.
  5. All deaths occurring as a result of an operative or diagnostic procedure.
  6. When the suspected cause of death is work-related, whether traumatic or natural, or related to environmental or occupational hazards.
  7. When the attending physician has no reasonable, proximate cause of death.
  8. Stillbirths when the delivery took place outside – not inside – of the hospital, or if the stillbirth is related to, or suspected to be related to, trauma.
  9. Maternal deaths before, during or after delivery or where abortion is suspected.
  10. All prescription drug or illicit drug related deaths, without exception.
  11. Unexpected death of a child or newborn less than 6 years of age.
  12. All nursing home deaths, without exception.

If there is any doubt as to whether the death needs to be reported, call the Medical Examiner’s Office. Don’t guess or make a decision if you are not absolutely sure. We can be reached at 972-548-3775/ metro 972-424-1460 Ext. 3775.

If the deceased is going to the Medical Examiner’s Office the following must be done by the hospital or nursing home:

  1. Leave all tubing in place. This is to include endotracheal tube, nasogastric tube, venous catheter lines with attached fluid bags, etc.
  2. Send all clothing and attached personal belongings with the body.
  3. A copy of medical records including the EMS record as requested by the field agent.
  4. All body fluids such as blood and urine collected and retained in the laboratory. ​