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When should families consider requesting an autopsy?

The unexpected loss of a loved one for Houston residents can be devastating. A loved one is a cherished member of the family and breadwinner. and if the death is caused by a medical mistake it can be even harder to take. Most of the time people receive good medical care but occasionally a medical mistake occurs that results in a wrongful death.

Families who believe they may have lost their loved one due to a medical mistake may want to request an autopsy. It can be hard to think clearly after the death of a close family member but it is important to hold medical professionals accountable if they caused the death. An autopsy can determine the cause of death and describes what is found during an internal and external investigation of the body. It looks at all organs, specific tissues and a toxicology report to check to see if drugs, alcohol or other chemicals had a role in the death. An autopsy also includes a review of medical records. A pathologist is skilled in communicating with all doctors that were involved in the patient's care to understand what treatments the patient had before they died.

When a loved one dies unexpectedly a family often wonders what happened. It can be hard to deal with a death when there are so many questions surrounding it. If the family believes a medical professional provided negligent care, they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney has the experience necessary to get those important questions answered. They can review medical records, consult with medical experts and determine what happened. If a doctor is found to have made a medical mistake they can hold him responsible. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, funeral expenses and other damages.

Families who have been affected by the unexpected loss of a loved one can have many questions. It is important to hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence so that they don't harm anyone else.

Source: post-gazette.com, "When in doubt, order an autopsy", Robert Pegritz, Jan. 10, 2016

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