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When the ICU Becomes a Crime Scene

Sackman, Bruce MA

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000048
Original Articles

The intensive care unit nurse needs to take immediate steps to salvage forensic evidence if an unexpected or sudden death occurs in the unit. Although there may be no criminal undertones associated with the death at the time it occurs, questions may arise later, bringing into question antecedent events or personnel actions that might be relevant to understanding the unexpected or suspicious death. Policies and procedures are essential to ensure that evidence is not overlooked or lost. The value of a careful analysis of the scenario may lead to important findings about treatment errors, medical equipment or device failures, and even criminal behavior of personnel caring for the patient.

Society of Professional Investigators, Bellmore, New York.

Correspondence: Bruce Sackman, MA, Society of Professional Investigators, PO Box 1087, Bellmore, NY 11710 (

The author has disclosed that he has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins