Emergency Department Clinical Pathway for End of Life Care

Staff Resources
  • Do not attempt resuscitation (DNAR)
  • Family presence
  • Termination of resuscitation
Deceased Child
Forensic Evidence Collection/Body Preparation
  • RN
  • Leave all lines/tubes in place; may cut ETT to lips
  • Collect clothes, belongings, linens
  • Collect and store bullets, knife blades, gunshot pellets, narcotics
  • MD
Post-mortem Family Communication
MD, RN, SW, Child Life
Medical Examiner Case
Physician to print medical
examiner report
  • MD: Documentation
  • RN: Disposition of body
Non-Medical Examiner Case
Physician to Print Pathology Consult Report and ED Provider Note
  • MD: Documentation,
    determination of autopsy
  • RN: Disposition of body
Contact Gift of Life
Notify Primary Care Physician
Subspecialists involved in care
  Medical Examiner Case Non-Medical Examiner Case
Forms TO
fill out
  • Forms TO fill out Medical Examiner’s Notice/Pronouncement of Death Form
  • Death Certificate (Paper)
  • Permission for Autopsy (If family agrees)
  • Pathology Consultation Report (if family agrees)
Forms to NOT fill out
  • Death Certificate (paper)
  • Permission for Autopsy
  • Pathology Consultation Report
  • Medical Examiner’s Notice/Pronouncement of Death Form
Posted: October 2015
Revised: January 2022
Authors: D. Corwin, MD; E. Friedlaender MD, MPH; L. Zinns, MD; T. Kang MD, MSCE; C. Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH; W. Morrison, MD, MBE; J. Hwang, MD, MHS; D. Albert RN, BSN, CPN, CPEN; W. Frankenberger RN, MSN, CCNS; B. Rodio RN, BSN, CEN, CPHQ