PUBLIC SAFETY BRIEFS – November 8, 2018

About the Coroner’s Bureau

The Coroner’s Office was established on May 2, 1893. On January 4, 1999, the Coroner’s Office consolidated with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, becoming the 42nd county in the state to consolidate the Coroner’s Office with the Sheriff’s Office.
In 2015, over thirteen thousand deaths were reported to the Riverside County Coroner’s Bureau. The Coroner investigates and reports on all violent, sudden or unusual deaths of persons within the County as established by California law.
The Coroner may hold an inquest if the circumstances warrant. The inquest may be held with or without a jury, at the Coroner’s discretion and shall be open to the public.

Mandatory Investigations
Government Code, State of California, Section 27491, and
Health and Safety Code Section 102850 mandate that the Sheriff-Coroner inquire into the following deaths:

• Unattended deaths
• The deceased has not been attended by a physician in the 20 days prior to death
• Physician unable to state the cause of death
• Known or suspected homicide
• Involving any criminal action or suspicion of a criminal act, in whole or in part
• Known or suspected suicide
• Related to or following known or suspected self-induced or criminal abortion
• Associated with a known or alleged rape or crime against nature
• Following an accident, or injury (primary or contributory, occurring immediately or at some remote time)
• Drowning, fire, hanging, gunshot, stabbing, cutting, starvation, exposure, alcoholism, drug addiction, strangulation or aspiration
• Accidental poisoning (food, chemical, drug, therapeutic agents)
• Occupational diseases or occupational hazards
• Known or suspected contagious disease constituting a public health hazard
• Deaths in the custody of law enforcement, in prison or while under sentence
• Deaths in state hospitals serving the mentally or developmentally disabled
Suspected Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Additional Investigations
Additionally, the Riverside County Coroner typically investigates cases such as:

• All emergency and operating room deaths
• Deaths with known or suspected contribution by a therapeutic procedure
• All deaths where a patient has not fully recovered from an anesthetic, whether in surgery, recovery room or elsewhere
• Deaths occurring under 24 hours in a hospital
• Deaths of patients who have had surgery during the current hospital admission
• All deaths in which the patient is comatose throughout the period of physician attendance, whether at home or hospital
• Solitary deaths (unattended by physician or other persons in the period preceding death)
• Deaths of unidentified persons
• All deaths of persons who are charges of the State
• Deaths of children (age 17 and under)

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