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Death of a child in PICU - documentation

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Coroners Cases

Coroners Case Checklist

click on the image below to download a printable pdf checklist.

Coroners case checklist

Coroners paperwork - what goes where

Email or fax to Coroner (see instructions)
Coroners Autopsy Request Form (CR0020)
Record of Death (CR2204)
With the Body/Police
Verification of Death Form (Cor31)
Coroner's Autopsy Request Form (CR0020)
Record of Death Form (CR2204)
Blue copy of Death Notice (CR2669)
With the Clinical Record
Yellow copy of Death Notice (CR2669)
To Quality Co-ordinator, Level 7, SCH
Starship Mortality Notification Form
In the Blue PICU Bereavement Folder
Bereavement Service Form (CR2403)
NB: Fax to 22698 first

Contacting the Coroner

  • Doctor to ring the Coroner (NIIO), Ph: 0800 266 800 (24 hours)
  • Email or fax Record of Death form and Coroners Autopsy Request form as per instructions to
  • Once the case is accepted by the coroner, the police must IMMEDIATELY be contacted at Auckland Police Northern Communications: Ph 571 2800. Advise that you are reporting a death at Auckland Hospital and need a 1S job entered for Police to attend. 

    They will request the following information:
  1. Name, age and date of birth of child
  2. Name of consultant
  3. Brief description of circumstances surrounding the death, including location
  • All lines still in the patient at time of death can be removed at the discretion of the coroner UNLESS it is thought that they contributed to the death. Check with the consultant on duty. All lines removed must be documented in the Clinical Notes and sent with the child to the mortuary
  • The police will arrive within 20-60 minutes. They will then take a statement from the family and get identification of the body
  • If the family wants to spend more time with the child, or bath the child, the police will contact the coroner to check if this is acceptable. All staff are LEGALLY OBLIGED to adhere to all of the coroner's instructions. If the coroner gives permission for this, either the police, or a security person chosen by the police, will stay with the child as a representative of the coroner
  • Once the family is ready to leave, Davis Funeral Directors MUST be contacted by the police to transfer the body to the mortuary, even if the child would otherwise be easily carried in someone's arms
  • The family will not be able to carry the child or go in the police car to the mortuary (at the police's discretion)
  • If the family wish to stay in the Mortuary Whanau Rooms, advise NIIO (0800 266800) and they will organise this at the discretion of the Coroner
  • The police are NOT to be given a copy of the clinical notes. They need to make a formal request to Clinical Records if they require them. Forms for this are in the Death Documentation box.
  • If there are any problems with contacting the Coroner, contact Merelyn Redstone Ph 579 5879 or email:

The child's Clinical Record is photocopied and the ORIGINAL goes with the police to the mortuary. The photocopy stays in PICU.

How to send Autopsy Request to Coroner

SSH Konica printer in the office:

  1. Place documents face up in the top document feeder
  2. Press "fax/scan" button
  3. Choose "SSPICU" from on-screen email options
  4. Press "start" button - once the pages have gone through, the email is automatically sent to the SSPICU inbox
  5. Press the "Copy" button to reset printer

Back at front desk:

  1. Open Outlook (full version - not web version) on ward clerks computer  (computer will already be logged into SSPICU)
  2. Open email from "ADHB_SCANS" (can take a few minutes to appear if server is slow)
  3. Forward the email to:

Non Coroners Cases

Non-Coroners Case Checklist

click on the image below to download a printable pdf checklist.

Non Coroners Case Checklist

Non-Coroners paperwork - what goes where

With the Body (either Funeral Director or family member)
White copy of Medical Certificate of Causes of Death/Foetal and  Neonatal Death (HP4720/HP4721)
Copy of Transfer Charge of Body Form (BDM39) as appropriate
Cremation Certificate (CR5741)
With the Clinical Record
Yellow copy of Death Notice signed by Funeral Director or family member taking charge of body(CR2669)
Yellow Copy of Medical Certificate of Causes of Death (HP4720/HP4721) 
Record of Death (CR2204)
With CNM
Transfer Charge of Body form (BDM39)
Blue copy of Death Notice signed by Funeral Director or family member taking charge of body (CR2669)
Deceased Patient Release Authority (CC2109)
Within Starship Child Health
Fax Bereavement Service Form (CR2403) to 22968, then leave in Blue PICU Bereavement folder
Send Mortality Notification Form to Quality Co-ordinator, Level 7, SCH

Notes to stay in PICU until ALL discharge documentation is complete, then to Clinical Records for scanning.

Important information re: patient notes when a patient dies

When a patient dies, if the original notes are not going immediately to scanning, they must be copied first. There are only three places, other than scanning, that can have the originals:

  • Coroners (for coronial autopsies)
  • Hospital Mortuary (for non-coronial autopsies)
  • Perinatal Mortality Co-ordinator (for patients <4 weeks with no autopsy required)

In all other instances, send the notes direct to scanning.

To avoid time pressures, photocopying can be started as soon as it is known the notes will be required by any of the above three parties (often this is known well before final extubation - medical/nursing staff, please let your ward clerk know).

If there is a problem getting the copying done (usually after hours), staff can ring the CED ward clerk for assistance (x24200).

Coroners / Mortuary are required to return the original notes for scanning within 24 hours. Please see the the ADHB Deceased (Tupapaku) policy for further information.

Frequently asked questions

All children

  • Appropriate bereavement support info should be given to the families. This is kept in the 'Angel Box'.
  • If there is potential for organ donation (including heart valves, corneas, etc), discuss this with the consultant and contact the Transplant Co-ordinators.
  • A list of Funeral Directors is in the documentation box. We cannot recommend a specific Funeral Director, but can provide a list from which they can choose.
  • If a child is to be taken to an overseas destination for burial, a Deceased Person Infectious Status Form (CC02) must be completed by Medical staff.
  • If family need to fly home, call Social Worker to assist with travel arrangements. If it is after hours and there is no Social Worker available, contact CNM, who needs to fill out an SO12 with correct RC code [PICU RC code 420 2024]. Travel will be organised through Orbit travel. PICU will be reimbursed.
  • Deceased children being transported through a public area should be completely covered. However, they do not need to be zipped into a body bag if parents find this distressing.
  • If you require Kai Atawhai for emergency situations, such as families needing support in the whanau room after hours at the mortuary, you can call 29200. This will be diverted to a mobile phone. It may not be answered straight away, but leave a message and they should respond. If there is no response, please email Ann Doran, Coordinator of PICU Bereavement Service ( and let her know.


  • Deceased children who are being transported home by family are NOT legally required to be restrained in a car seat. HOWEVER, we should recommend that they are, because in the event of an accident they could be a danger to other passengers. ALWAYS escort families out of the hospital to their car.
  • If a child is being flown within NZ for a non-coroners autopsy, make family aware that they will not be able to take the child on the plane with them. The child will be transported as cargo, and be in the cargo hold. A Funeral Director must be involved.
  • If a child needs to go to the mortuary, but is a non-coroner's case, contact CNM and they will arrange this with Auckland Bereavement Services. Don't forget to put an ID band on the patient!
  • If the family want to stay at the mortuary, CNM and Auckland Bereavement Service will arrange this. For patients going to the mortuary for either a coroners or non-coroners autopsy, the notes must be photocopied. The photocopy stays in the PICU administration office, and the originals go with the body to the mortuary.
  • For out of town cases, a Funeral Director from the home town will need to be contacted to arrange transport of the child.

Body parts / tissue storage

When a child dies who has had any type of surgery, he/she may have body parts stored in the hospital which the family wants returning.
Check for the following yellow sticker in the notes (it should be on the front sheet, but may not be).

Body parts diagram

Funeral Directors

State of Grace Funerals 437 Ellerslie/Panmure Highway Ph: 0800 764 327
C. Little and Sons Ltd  287 Manukau Rd, Epsom Ph: 638 9125
Cook Island Funeral Services
(aka South Auckland Funeral Services)
553 Gt South Rd, Otahuhu  Ph: 276 3382 / 276 9000
Davis Funeral Services Ltd  400 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden Ph: 638 9026
Davis Funeral Services Ltd  150 Central Park Dr, Henderson Ph: 835 3557
Epsom Funeral Home
(English, Cantonese and Mandarin speakers)
129 Main Highway, Ellerslie Ph: 625 9972
Forrest Funeral Services 8 Glen Rd, Browns Bay Ph: 479 5956
Howick Funeral Home 35 Wellington St, Howick Ph: 534 7300
Lagoon View Funeral Services 
(aka Ngahau e Wha Tangihanga)
3 Korma Lane, Panmure Ph: 527 1866
Ligaliga Funeral Services Ltd 
(aka Tagata Pasefika Funeral Services)
28 Canning Cres, Mangere Ph: 275 3307
Battersby Funeral Services 1855 Great North Rd, Avondale Ph: 828 5113
Marshall Funeral Directors
(English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Hindi speakers)
4 Berlane Place, Papakura Ph: 266 9912 (24 hrs)
Morrison Funeral Directors 220 Universal Dr, Henderson Ph: 836 0029
Tilton, Opie & Pattinson Ltd 3232 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
725 Mt Albert Road, Royal Oak
Ph: 827 8332 (24 hrs)
Ph: 636 6219
Siburns Funeral Directors
582 Remuera Rd, Remuera Ph: 520 3119

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Document Control

  • Date last published: 09 October 2018
  • Document type: Other
  • Services responsible: Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Owner: Ann Doran
  • Editor: John Beca
  • Review frequency: 2 years