Louisiana Coroner and Death Investigator Role in Mortality Surveillance
Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review:
R.S. 40:2018 authorizes the Bureau of Family Health, on behalf of the Commission on Perinatal Care and Prevention of Infant Mortality, to review coroner reports related to pregnancy-associated deaths. Regional abstractors will request autopsy reports from Parish Coroners for women who died during or within one year of pregnancy regardless of the cause of death. We ask that when contacted, you please provide assistance and access to autopsy reports.
Child Death Review:
R.S. 40:2019 requires that all unexpected or unexplained deaths of children under the age of 15 years be reviewed. Regional abstractors will request autopsy reports from Parish Coroners for infants and children less than 15 years of age whose deaths resulted from unintentional injury, homicide, suicide or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID*). We ask that when contacted, you please provide assistance and access to autopsy reports. The legislation also requires that a copy of the death investigation report, or any portion thereof, including law enforcement, coroner, fire department, and medical providers, or any other information relative to the death investigation shall be provided to the state CDR panel within thirty days of the request.
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry:
As part of the Louisiana Child Death Review (CDR) (R.S. 40:2019) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry Program (SUID CR), Bureau of Family Health (BFH) requests the following from Louisiana coroners in the case of a Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID):
1. Notify the Bureau of Family Health within 5 to 7 business days of all suspected SUID cases
a. Call Jane Herwehe at 504-568-3504 (do not leave confidential information on voicemail)
b. Fax a notification or SUIDIRF death scene investigation to 504-568-3503
2. Send the completed Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigation Reporting Form (SUIDIRF) to the Bureau of Family Health within 10 days of the death. SUIDIRF should:
a. Be completed within 24 hours of the infant death
b. Be as complete as possible with a narrative that describes incident (use narrative to explain any gaps in information)
c. Include death scene diagram, doll reenactment and photographs whenever possible
3. Send the completed autopsy to the Bureau of Family Health within 75 days of the death. Autopsy should:
a. Be completed by a pathologist skilled in forensics
b. Follow standardized autopsy procedure
c. Include external, internal, microscopic, toxicology and summary reports
SUIDIRFs and autopsies may be submitted to the Bureau of Family Health in any of the following ways:
• Fax: 504-568-3503
• Mail: Bureau of Family Health at 1450 Poydras Street Suite 2032, New Orleans, LA 70112
• Secure file transfer: call Jane Herwehe 504-568-3504 for more information
Please include a separate BFH reimbursement form for the SUIDIRF and autopsy and a W-9 form first time reimbursement requests. Please make sure that all mail is marked confidential and all faxes have a covers letter.