|Dealing with Death & Dying
in Medical Education and Practice
© 2001 Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS Email:email@example.com
AMSA Convention March 30, 2001
Declaring a Death
With the Patient
1. Identify the patient by the
hospital ID tag
In the Chart/Medical Record
2. Note the general appearance of the body
3. Ascertain that the patient does not
rouse to verbal or tactile stimuli.
Avoid overtly painful stimuli especially if family
members are present.
4. Listen for the absence of carotid pulse.
5. Look and listen for the absence of spontaneous
6. Record the position of the pupils and the
absence of pupillary light reflex.
7. Note the time your assessment was completed.
This will be recorded as the official time
1. Called to pronounce (name).
2. Chart findings of physical examination.
3. Note date and time of death.
4. Note if family and attending physician were
5. Document if family declines or accepts autopsy.
6. Document if the coroner/medical examiner was
Heidenreich C, Weissman DE. Death Pronouncement
and Death Notification: What the Resident Needs to Know, November 2000.
Available from: EPERC (End-of-Life Physician Education Resource Center)
Compilation of resources for
this presentation and Website © 2001 Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS.
Journey of Hearts, www.journeyofhearts.org