Reportable Deaths

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner/Coroner’s Office, as a guardian of the health, safety, and welfare of the community, constantly strives toward the goal of a safer and healthier community. The Medical Examiner/Coroner is a constitutional office pursuant to the Constitution of Colorado. Colorado Revised Statute, 30-10-606, defines which deaths are reportable to the Medical Examiner/Coroner’s Office.

Types of Reportable Deaths

The following deaths are reportable (by telephone 720-337-7601) to the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner/Coroner immediately after pronouncement of death.

  • All patients that expire within 24 hours of admission.
  • All deaths in which the attending physician has not been in attendance of the decedent within 30 days prior to death. If the physician certifying the cause and manner of death on the death certificate has not been in attendance within the 30 days prior, the death must be reported to the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner.
  • All deaths resulting from accident, suicide, homicide, or undetermined cause and/or manner (e.g. fall, poisoning, drug-related, industrial accident, automobile accident, automobile-pedestrian accident, suspected abuse, etc.).
  • All deaths that occur in the emergency room, operating room, during or shortly following a medical procedure.
  • Deaths resulting from therapeutic procedures, or possibly may be related to the procedure.
  • Deaths resulting from thermal, chemical or radiation injury.
  • All deaths in which the attending physician is unable or unwilling to certify the cause of death.
  • All deaths due to unexplained causes or under suspicious circumstances.
  • Deaths resulting from a disease which may be hazardous, contagious, or which may constitute a threat to public health. Chronic Hepatitis C is not reportable.
  • Sudden death of a person in good health.
  • All death in which trauma may be associated with death (e.g. fall with hip fracture, head injury or other trauma). Cases where the patient entered the medical facility due to trauma. Cases should be promptly reported even though the death may be attributed only indirectly to the trauma.
  • All deaths while in the custody of law enforcement officials, or while incarcerated in a public institution.
  • All deaths resulting from criminal abortion, including any situation where such abortion may have been self-induced.

Fetal/Infant Deaths

Any fetal or newborn death is reportable if any of the above may have resulted or possibly played a role in the demise/death. Examples of Reportable Fetal/Infant Deaths:

  • Mother has a positive drug screen upon admittance into the hospital and has a fetal death.
  • Mother is assaulted a few days prior to admittance.
  • Mother is involved in a traffic accident, or any other traumatic event, shortly before labor begins.

Reporting Procedures

Deaths that do not fall within our jurisdiction do not need to be reported. If death is reportable, please notify our office promptly. An investigator can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 720-337-7601. Please leave a message if no one answers. Your call will be forward to an investigator who will return your call as soon as possible.

Please have the following information when reporting hospital cases:

  • Demographic information such as name, date of birth, ethnicity, gender, marital status, social security number and address of decedent
  • Next of kin information including name, address, phone number and time/date of notification of death.
  • Place of death
  • Admission information including date/time of admission and from where transferred (e.g. private residence, other medical facilities, etc.).
  • Past medical history
  • Pronouncement information including date, time and physician’s name

For  nursing home and hospice reportable cases, in addition to the above information, please have the following:

  • Primary care physician name and phone number
  • Date of the last visit with the primary care physician