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Letter to the Editor

Don't Pronounce a Patient Dead on Arrival

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000581560.75899.ff
Letter to the Editor

Editor:

Calling time of death on an inpatient at the time the code is initiated like Kimberly Chernoby, MD, JD, suggests is reasonable, but this is not practical for patients who are brought to the ED from a scene. (“Change the Way Time of Death is Called,” EMN 2019;41[7]:4; http://bit.ly/2FL6GxP.)

I would venture to say that in the vast majority of these cases, the time a patient lost his pulse is unknown. Plus, insurance companies won't pay an ambulance service for transporting a dead body! That's why I was taught long ago not to pronounce a patient dead on arrival.

John Markushewski, MD

Huntsville, AL

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