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Death on arrival 17/18

Where you are asked to certify the cause of death for a person who is dead on arrival, you will need to gather information from family, ambulance personnel and friends about the circumstances of the death.

•If the death is obviously due to unnatural causes, the case should be referred to forensic pathology services in the prescribed manner with any information that you have collected.

•Where it is not obvious that the death was due to unnatural causes, you will need to get a medical history from family, ambulance personnel and friends. 

•You could also check whether there are medical records for the person in the facility. 

•You must do a complete external examination of the unclothed body to ensure that there are no injuries present. 

•Make detailed notes to cover yourself. 

•Ask senior colleagues for advice.

•If you are still unsure, contact forensic pathologist to discuss whether the case should be referred or not.

•Remember, you are only required to report your best medical opinion