Saturday, June 18, 2022

Blow Your Stack Saturday Lax Postmortem Procedures: UK and US


I'm in the US. My father wasn't given a proper post-mortem, and it would have cost too much money to insist on one. The cause of death listed on his death certificate was listed as the vague "delirium."

I'm not suggesting that there was any wrongdoing in my father's death. There wasn't. He was given good care in the hospice. His health had been in decline for years, even preceding the major hemorrhagic stroke at 68 that left him handicapped. In retrospect, he had been having TIAs even in his 50s. His vascular system was a mess.

In the years following the big stroke, he had several smaller strokes. He developed vascular dementia and lost the ability to walk. He had been a college professor, but at the end of his life, he sat reading the same page of a catalog repeatedly. He was starting to sundown, and confused scenes on TV with reality. He also developed congestive heart failure, which caused fluid buildup in his trunk and extremities. 

When he died, his lower legs were dark purple and edematous. 

So no, there were no signs of foul play in my father's death, but the cause of death was not "delirium." It was vascular problems and congestive heart failure. We simply would have felt better if there was a more thorough report on the cause.

1 comment:

  1. Pneumonia is a commonly listed cause of death here. And sometimes it contributes...


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