Hospitals must report deaths with ties to maternal mortality

August 14, 2019

Recent legislation now requires birthing hospitals and birth centers to report the deaths of women who are pregnant or who have been pregnant within 42 days of death to the local coroner or medical examiner’s office. Once reported, local medicolegal systems are required to take jurisdiction of the death and conduct a full death investigation, and an autopsy is strongly recommended. Autopsies should use the guidelines for maternal death autopsy, published by the Washington State Department of Health. The county may bill the state Forensic Investigation Fund for full reimbursement. Read more from WSHA’s July 28 bulletin and from the Department of Health. (Janine Reisinger)


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