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What Happens When Someone Dies Under Hospice Care, or In the Hospital

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What happens when a loved one dies? What are the logistical steps that you must take to ensure that their body is properly taken care of, and carefully moved to the site of the funeral home? There are different sets of protocols depending on whether the death occurs at home, under hospice care, or in the hospital. This article will look at the latter two scenarios.

For a loved one to die under hospice care is, frankly, easier to deal with than a loved one dying in other
conditions. Practically speaking, there are simply fewer steps that must be taken. The first thing to do is to call the hospice worker, who will come to the home. The hospice worker will contact the hospice physician, who will then pronounced the time of death. In addition, the hospice worker will destroy all prescription medications that the deceased was taking, and at that point the funeral home may be contacted to come and transport the body.

When someone dies in the hospital, the situation is slightly different. The procedure depends on how long the person was in the hospital. If it was under 24 hours time, then a medical examiner must be
contacted to assess the cause of death. The deceased may have to have an autopsy to determine the cause
of death. If the deceased was present in the hospital for more than 24 hours, however, hospital can more expediently release the body to the funeral home and a medical examiner’s autopsy may not be required.

A final note: In some cases, if there is even a hint of anything suspicious, then a full autopsy might be required. In particular, this is needed if the deceased was an elderly person who died due to falling.

Knowing these procedures is important for ensuring you handle a loved one’s death properly and expediently; simply calling the funeral home to transport the body is, in most cases, not enough.

If you have a question about funerals, please email me at:
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