What To Do If Death Occurs at a Hospital

If death occurs at a hospital, the staff at the hospital will know what to do and will take the necessary steps to determine the cause and time of death and confirm the identity of the person who died.

Working with a funeral director to complete the death certificate

Once the hospital has made their identifications, you will need a funeral director to complete the death certificate and remove the body from the hospital. Depending on the space available in the hospital morgue, you will typically be allowed anywhere from three days to three weeks to remove the body from the hospital.

Working with a hospital social worker

After the death has occurred, a hospital social worker will be assigned to you to help you make decisions, including whether or not to conduct an autopsy, donate the deceased’s organs, or donate the deceased’s body to medical science. The social worker may also be able to help you identify a local funeral home and contact that funeral home.

To find a funeral home, use our resource Guide: Finding a Funeral Home.

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