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Old 02-08-2011, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Default Are the parents of a deceased child able to obtain an autopsy report directly from the coroner?

Suppose you had a newborn baby pass away (horrible thing to have happen BTW) and you requested an autopsy. Sadly this recently happened to myself and my wife. What we've been told so far is the hospital gets it from the coroner and then gives it to us.

I myself would rather get the report directly from the coroner as opposed to getting it from the hospital. If the hospital were to get a copy and I were to get a copy from the coroner, that would be fine too.

Is it at all possible to do this?

Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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My deepest sympathy to you both at this very sad time.

It's likely that this varies from state to state -- have you contacted the coroner's office directly to ask for a copy?
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
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I don't have any input other than I'm so terribly sorry for your loss.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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So so sorry to hear about what happened. My heart goes out to you and your wife.

State law varies and you would need to contact the coroner's office to see about getting a copy directly from them. If you are thinking that the hospital is not dealing honestly with you, or, God forbid, think they may be implicated in the loss of your child, you should contact an attorney.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Earth
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First off thanks for the condolences.

As for the autopsy report...to make a long story short, our child, who was said to he healthy the entire time of pregnancy, suddenly had decreasement of heart rate with my wife's contractions. The heart rate decreased to as much as 40 beats per minute. A normal newborn heart rate is about 140.

There's really no logic on why this happened. Every nurse, doctor, midwife, etc. that was there for the birth said he looked like a normal healthy baby. No defects at all were ever detected during any of the ultrasounds.

With all of this said, I believe there may have been a medical malpractice involved, and if so, who's to say someone who was responsible, if they were to get their hands on the report, would not "doctor it up" to save their butts?

Note: I'm not saying anyone would do this, and I am not accusing anyone of any malpractice, just I am very suspicious at this point, as none of this makes any sense. I feel getting a report directly from the coroner himself would be my best bet.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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I'm sorry for your loss. Did they perform a C-Section? When my daughter went into fetal distress, I was rushed right in for a C-Section. I don't know what fetal distress was but I know it had to do with her heart rate---not sure if her heart rate got faster or slower.

There are ways you can find the availability of the autopsy report in your state out without tipping anyone off. If you life in a large city where there are many autopsies done, you can simply call the corner's office yourself and ask---anonymously as a general question---if family members can obtain autopsy reports directly from the corner's office. If you live in a small town where it's more likely that your loved one is the only one having an autopsy, you can call a corner's office in a large city in your state and ask their protocol and if there are any state laws that would prevent you from obtaining an autopsy report directly from a cornoer's office in a small town.

You can also contact a malpractice attorney. Even though you're not sure if you will sue, they generally give free advice during the consultation to advise people on how to handle things early on to protect a future case.

Last edited by Hopes; 02-09-2011 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
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I am so very sorry for your loss.

Most commonly you would contact the medical examiner/coroner of the county in which the autopsy was performed. If you are unable to contact them, your county offices or local police department should have the appropriate contact info.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
First off thanks for the condolences.

As for the autopsy report...to make a long story short, our child, who was said to he healthy the entire time of pregnancy, suddenly had decreasement of heart rate with my wife's contractions. The heart rate decreased to as much as 40 beats per minute. A normal newborn heart rate is about 140.

There's really no logic on why this happened. Every nurse, doctor, midwife, etc. that was there for the birth said he looked like a normal healthy baby. No defects at all were ever detected during any of the ultrasounds.

With all of this said, I believe there may have been a medical malpractice involved, and if so, who's to say someone who was responsible, if they were to get their hands on the report, would not "doctor it up" to save their butts?

Note: I'm not saying anyone would do this, and I am not accusing anyone of any malpractice, just I am very suspicious at this point, as none of this makes any sense. I feel getting a report directly from the coroner himself would be my best bet.
Deepest condolences on your loss...I can't imagine.

I think the best thing you can do if you suspect wrong doing is to contact an attorney. The sooner the better so they can start collecting information. FWIW, coroner records are created and maintained by the state, so the hospital would have no way to "doctor" the report. Unfortunately when it comes to something you described, the report may be very brief and have a simple cause of death such as stillbirth. In cases of malpractice, the coroner is not the one who is going to determine that the death was or was not preventable. This is why you need an attorney.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I Did they perform a C-Section?

You can also contact a malpractice attorney. Even though you're not sure if you will sue, they generally give free advice during the consultation to advise people on how to handle things early on to protect a future case.
Yes my wife did have a C section after they determined my son had bradycardia, or a low heartbeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
I am so very sorry for your loss.

Most commonly you would contact the medical examiner/coroner of the county in which the autopsy was performed. If you are unable to contact them, your county offices or local police department should have the appropriate contact info.
Thanks. We found out today the coroner does not give autopsy info to anyone except the doctor. Nice huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I think the best thing you can do if you suspect wrong doing is to contact an attorney. The sooner the better so they can start collecting information. FWIW, coroner records are created and maintained by the state, so the hospital would have no way to "doctor" the report. Unfortunately when it comes to something you described, the report may be very brief and have a simple cause of death such as stillbirth. In cases of malpractice, the coroner is not the one who is going to determine that the death was or was not preventable. This is why you need an attorney.
Thanks on this. I feel though if I call an attorney now it'll be the same as an accusation. At this point I only suspect, not have concrete evidence, as I still don't know how a fetus goes from a good heartbeat to a low one in a matter of minutes. As of now I am still trying to gather facts. But I'll keep this in mind. Though I thought an autopsy could determine if a cause of death could be contributed to a malpractice?

However I was not aware of an autopsy as being a public record.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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I am so sorry you and your wife are going through this.

I do have to say that I would be VERY suspicious if I was told that the coroner would not release information like this too me.

It makes it sound like they have something too hide.

You are the parent, you should have the right to have that information released directly to you. Personally I would contact an attorney and have a sitdown and ask them some questions. Even if all you do is use the attorney to get the information directly to you, it would be worth it.
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