Autopsy results. Please give any experiences and advice here.

Backstory: my father passed away very suddenly in Feb 2002. At the time the docs thought it was pulmonary embolism caused by DVT - apparantly it isn’t. Because his death was sudden and unexplained, an autopsy was performed. We still have NOT gotten the results back. This has the family very anxious as he has a large number of brothers and sisters in the 40-60 range who are worried that it may be a congenital disorder, and a son who is working in the same field in the case it’s a workplace hazard.

Has anyone ever waited this long for autopsy results? It has been almost 10 months and I’m getting upset. We are getting no reason for not having the results except ‘these things take time’. Heck, whatever it was came out of nowhere and killed him in a WEEK!(which is how long he’d been feeling ill for) And you can’t FIND it?

I am planning to stop into the Doc’s office on next Tuesday and remind him of the oath he took and any chance that he may be withholding information could be potentially fatal to a number of his family members. I also would like some hard facts to backup my misgivings on this timeframe.

(I realize I am overreacting a bit with the last paragraph but months of nothing but no news is making me pretty aggravated - not to mention that I have little time left in this country.)

Do you think they have lost the results? Or perhaps never did the autopsy? I can’t think of what would take 10 months and the lack of a real reason it is taking so long is odd. I wonder if they are just hoping you will forget about it.

The results shouldn’t have taken more than a few weeks to get finalized, so if you’ve waited this long, probably someone dropped the ball.

It’s possible the docs just forgot to inform you, or that each doctor involved (if there were several) thought someone else had done it. I’d chalk this one down to an honest mistake. Call them up, remind them you’re waiting for the results, and ask them to get in touch with you ASAP. They shouldn’t give you any crap about that, and will probably be apologetic, if it was a moment of absentmindedness that led to this.

If indeed the autopsy never got done (and I’d doubt that that’s the case), that’d open up a nice big can of worms. But it would be something for the doctors to deal with, not you, (though you’d be justified for being upseet).

Best of luck. Sorry about your loss, and I hope the mix-up gets cleared up soon.

I know the autopsy was done. We have been keeping on top of the doctors - but you could be right - they might not be checking up with each other. Perhaps a request for the name of the coroner would be helpful. broods

Was the autopsy performed by a hospital or by the County Coroner?

If it’s the hospital, you just have to get on the case of the Medical Records department. They should have had preliminary results within a day or two. My father passed away unexpectedly on 9/30 and we had a preliminary cause of death by 10/2 I believe. And I got a copy of the report, which was all of one page.

My father died of a pulmonary embolism which had been brought on by an undiagnosed case of pancreatic cancer, so I can understand somewhat what you’re going through. He only felt sick for a couple of weeks also.

The hospital he died in didn’t have an autopsy department - was a rural hospital - so I am quite certain it was the county coroner. My GP mentioned her name - I just can’t recall it.

we got my aunt’s, grandma’s, granpa’s all back within a few weeks. That’s 3, all fairly recent. I can’t imagine almost a year going by… better call.

We got my dad’s report back fairly quickly. But then again there was going to be a trail and everything so they kind of needed it right away.

It’s not completely unheard of for completion of an autopsy report to take this long - but it is EXCEEDINGLY rare. There is, btw, no point in going to your doctor’s office and chewing him out, as he himself has nothing to do with performing the autopsy or completing the report; instead, insist that he tell you who DID perform the autopsy (it will either be the County Coroner or Medical Examiner, or one of the pathologists affiliated with the hospital where your father died). Then contact that person and raise hell. Insist that a copy of the complete report be sent to your family physician and the next-of-kin who signed the autopsy permit, and don’t take no for an answer.

One thing you should be aware of, though, is that it sometimes ISN’T possible to determine the exact cause of death even with a post-mortem examination - it’s rare, but it does happen. This isn’t likely to be the case with your father, but you should know that the possibility does exist.

Good luck in tracking down that report!

Thank you artemis, that is exactly what I needed to hear. :slight_smile:

I am aware that there are times it may be highly difficult and functionally impossible to determine the cause of death - I hope for everyone’s peace of mind that this is not one of those times. Sigh.

Also, thank you everyone for your sympathy, and my sympathies for your own losses. Life sucks :frowning:

Wow- 10 months! I haven’t had a human family member go through that, but even a government autopsy on our first DOG came back within less than a week.! They had to check to see if cause of death was rabies or not - it wasn’t, but they never found out what killed the poor 2.5 year old puppy in less than 24 hours. It might have been a stroke, but they couldn’t say for sure, and we couldn’t spend more money on him :frowning:

Anyways, I know that all that probably doesn’t even come close to comparing with what you’re going through, but if you can use it against whoever is holding the information back, maybe it’ll help. I mean, it was “just” a dog! This is your FATHER!

Good luck!

Regarding PE Pulmonary Embolism…does anyone have a copy of an autopsy report done after someone died of Pulmonary Embolism?

How about if they didn’t actually die, but simply turned into a zombie?

Then the cause of death is obvious-gunshot to the head. Or closure by Mod.

Zombie Thread Beware!!!

I wonder if Venoma ever got the autopsy results back?

Is this a record? 8 years. Pretty impressive.

Probably the latter.