Deaths in ICU
- A patient who dies must have an ICU transfer summary completed and the parent unit notified. The hospital discharge summary is the responsibility of the parent unit.
- The registrar on duty at the time of death must:
- Inform the Duty Intensivist and the Parent Unit Registrar of the death.
- Fill in a death certificate and other relevant forms at the time of death.
- Do not declare a death to be a Coronial case without discussion with the Duty Intensivist.
The Duty Intensivist will contact the patient’s GP the next business day.
- Discuss the case with the Intensivist on-call prior to phoning the Coroner
- Phone the Coroner’s Court: 1300 309 519 (http://www.coronerscourt.vic.gov.au/). This is a 24/7 telephone line, answered by a clerk. You then give your details, the patient’s details, a brief history and the reason for reporting to the Coroner. The clerk will give you a Coroner Court reference number. Please document this number in the patient’s DMR for future reference.
- All patients requiring a coroner’s post mortem need a “Statement of Identification” (the form can be found on the website). This can be completed by the next of kin and witnessed by the medical staff ie the family do not have to wait for the police to arrive
- Please complete a Statement of Identification before the responsible family member leaves.
- The coroner will contact the local police (or tell you to): they then accompany the body to the mortuary. The police will need to see the “Statement of Identification”. If this is not available the family will be called back in, so please make sure this is done prior to the family leaving.
- A medical officer (Intensivist or registrar) will also need to complete an online Medical Deposition form. This outlines the patient’s details, history and questions for the Coroner.
- Print a copy and give it to the ward clerk to be scanned in to the DMR.
- If you make errors in the death certification, you will be asked to return to the hospital to amend the error.
- The police will ask for a verbal statement (in layman’s terms) of the events leading to the patient’s death. You must not give the police the patient’s medical records, including the discharge summary. The written documentation is sent directly to the Coroner (as above).
- The Coroner’s report will usually take at least 3 months to be completed.
See also, Care of the Dying Patient.