Hey everyone! We’re back for another round of questions from you all, answered by our favorite Coroner, Jacquie.
If cadaveric spasm occurs in a body, will the affected muscles/muscle groups be the first to relax when the body enters secondary relaxation phase?
I’m not sure to be honest. This sounds logical though.
I read that some of the London Grenfell Tower fire victims’ cause of death was “inhalation of fire fumes” and other victims’ cause of death was “smoke inhalation.” What is the difference?
The amount of charring (thermal injury). Breathing in fire with fumes causes much more damage than breathing in just smoke.
My best friend has recently received the autopsy report for her nephew that passed back in March. She has the entire log, but she’s having a problem identifying one of the markings the coroner wrote on the diagram of his body. His back, arms etc. all have markings that have “contusion, lacerations etc” beside them. But the medical examiner marked IOC beside a cut on his leg near the ankle and we are unsure as to what it means. On the phone before we got the paper work, the medical examiner told us that he had a cut on his ankle that needed medical attention prior to death. But we want to know what “IOC” means. Thanks.
Intraosseous Catheter is what that would mean to me. It’s essentially an IV in the bone on the shin.
Sorry if this is personal, but do Coroner’s get paid a lot?
Not too personal at all. Each county is different and each jurisdiction is different. I know of some coroners in very small, rural areas who make about $10K each year, and I know some other coroners in larger, more urban areas who make over $100K per year. It varies so much that there is no good answer here. I currently make about $60K and am hoping for an increase with the next election cycle. Our salaries are set for 4 years before we ever take office.
I read a magazine ad that makes it sound like we need to buy a necessary product, because the vast majority of people die with their intestines full of sludge (which prevented proper digestion and caused every ailment known to man). Is it true? Is intestinal or colon sludge common or “normal”, and is it a problem?
Save your money.
Why won’t the Coroner’s office call me back?
Obviously I can’t answer that. I’m sorry they won’t. If there’s something I can do to help facilitate answers for you – please let me know.
My father died from end stage emphysema. When he died, he turned solid white and he looked so young. He was 75. Is this common for a person to turn white like that? I mean, when he had a crisis, he turned blue and almost purple. I thought that might be the case when he died, but it was not. Both of my parents were in the same hospital room when he died, and then she died a day later. There is so much more I could write and say about this, but I just don’t have the energy. However, I haven’t been able to find anything about a person turning solid white upon death, and was hoping maybe I could find an answer here.
After a long death process, this makes sense. The person is lying on their back…blood is flowing…albeit at a slower and slower and slower rate…until death happens and all-at-once, the blood simply settles. It is no longer flowing. He appeared white rapidly on the front of his body – but, I am confident his back would have been much more pink in color due to the quick settling of the blood from a long death process. I’m sorry your parents both died so close to each other. It sounds like they couldn’t live without each other.
Question my son recently died and I recieved the toxicology report. He had an ethanol level of 0.23g % and Benzoylecgonine level of 510ng/ml. Cocaine was not detected. Cocaethylene was less than 25ng/ml. I have a hard time believing that my son was able to hang himself. He died from hanging but it was an unattended death and his girlfriend said she found him and cut him down. No autopsy was performed and I want to make sure that there isn’t foul play due to the fact that his girlfriend wasn’t home until 4am and my son died at 4:50am within the hour of her coming home. Can it be proven that he did cocaine that night? With that level of Benzoylecgonine?
Benzoylecgonine is what the body turns cocaine into. It shows chronic use – not current use. Cocaethylene is what the body metabolizes from cocaine and alcohol together. Again – it doesn’t show acute use unless the cocaine is actually in the blood – which it appears it wasn’t. I don’t believe he had recent cocaine use (meaning within hours of death). Also, the time of death is most likely after paramedics/police arrive on scene…and not the actual time of his death which would have been minutes after actually hanging himself. I’m so sorry you lost your son to suicide. I do not believe the girlfriend could have staged his death to appear to be a suicide by hanging.
How should you address a coroner in an official letter?
The Honorable (First Name) (Last name)
(First Name) (Last Name), County Coroner
I just received a copy of my grandmother’s death certificate. The cause of death was listed as: “Intestinal toxemia causing heart failure.” If she were to die today, what would a coroner list as the cause of death?
Probably: Heart Failure due to Ischemic Bowel.