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Cause of death
• Disease or event (injury) that lead to death
• What process led to death
• Injury trumps disease
• Proximate
o Underlying reason
• Immediate
o Complications from proximate cause
Manner of death
• Why the cause of death came to be
• Natural
• Accidental
• suicide
• homicide
• undetermined
mechanism of death
• how the cause of death is incompatible with life
• biochemical or physiological changes that lead to the individual
dying
Mechanical Trauma
• Blunt force
o Firearm vs. non firearm
• Sharp force
Thermal Trauma
• Extreme heat of cold
• Hyperthermia
• Thermal burns
o 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree burn
• Hypothermia
Chemical Trauma
• Drugs, alcohol, poisons
• Forensic toxicology
Electrical Trauma
• Shock
o Low and high voltage
• Interferes with the heart
Medico legal death investigator
• “eyes and ears” of ME in the field
• legal authority to investigate deaths for a medico legal jurisdiction
• record all scene information and report to ME
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