Emergency Department Deaths

A patient who dies in the Emergency Department (ED) at UTMB John Sealy Hospital, League City Campus or Angleton Danbury is considered an outpatient death.

For UTMB John Sealy and League City Campus, the pronouncing physician is responsible for contacting the Medical Examiner Office.  For Danbury Hospital the pronouncing physician is responsible for contacting the Justice of the Peace for Brazoria County (see Reportable medical examiner deaths) link here. 

Since the process in obtaining informed consent has changed (Jerry Carswell Act) the FORM 5012 must be completed on every death at UTMB Hospitals.

Following the death of a patient at UTMB hospitals, the pronouncing physician, Nursing Service and Autopsy Service are responsible for completing all the required sections of the FORM 5012. 

If the death falls within the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s or the Justice of the Peace jurisdiction, the pronouncing physician completes sections 1; 3C; 4; and 5A of the FORM 5012.

If the case does not fall within the GCMEO or Justice of the Peace jurisdiction, the pronouncing physician is responsible for contacting the authorizing next-of-kin to discuss (section 3A) consent to postmortem examination (autopsy), (section 3B) disposition of the body and (section 4) disposition of organs, fluids, prosthetic devices and tissue after postmortem examination (autopsy) with the authorizing next-of-kin, and (section 5A) checklist.

Nursing Service will assist the pronouncing physician and review the FORM 5012 before the decedent is transferred to the morgue or released from the hospital unit, completing out section 5B.