Help & Advice
Fallon Family Funerals
Sudden or Unexpected Death
Sudden Death Syndrome is typically categorised as death caused by cardiac syndromes which result in sudden cardiac arrest and possibly death. When a person dies at home, in a care home or due to unforeseen circumstances in another scenario, the deceased may require the care of a Coroner to determine their exact cause of death and rule out anything suspicious or violent. A Coroner is a judicial officer whose purpose is to investigate deaths reported to them which are deemed ‘sudden’.
If your loved one is taken into the care of a coroner, there is no need to be distressed or concerned. The Coroner’s duty is simply to establish the cause of death. This can often give family and friends answers and closure during a difficult period.
Upon their findings, the coroner will determine whether or not further procedures are necessary such as a post-mortem examination or an inquest.
Following the initial investigation, the coroner may find that the death was due to natural causes in which case a Doctor will issue a Medical Certificate, sometimes referred to as a Death Certificate.
Other actions carried out by the corner include:
> Give an order for burial or cremation free of charge.
> Send a certificate to the Registrar (after an inquest) stating the cause of death.
> Provide, usually as a matter of course, a letter confirming the fact of death for social security and insurance benefit purposes.
> Give permission for the body to be removed out of England and Wales.
> Pay for the removal of the deceased from the place of death to the mortuary.
If the cause of death remains unknown, a post-mortem examination (also referred to as an autopsy) is called for and will be carried out by a pathologist. This is a surgical procedure consisting of a thorough examination of the deceased to decide the cause of death. Consent from relatives is not required although you can request a doctor to be present.
Typically, the post-mortem report will conclude that the death was due to natural causes, in which case no further action is necessary. However, in the unlikely circumstance the coroner rules the cause of death as accidental, violent or suspicious, the coroner is then obliged to call for an inquest to be carried out.
The inquest will determine:
> The identity of the person deceased.
> When, where, and how the death occurred – witness statements and medical records are required.
> The ultimate cause of death.
This can understandably be a troubling time for the loved ones involved. In which case, following the opening of the inquest, once the identity of the deceased is established, it is likely the coroner may adjourn the inquest and allow the funeral to take place.
After the funeral has occurred, it may take time for the inquest into the cause of death to be re-opened. Please be reassured that both the Coroners Office and your funeral director will work to keep you informed in regards to any information they may require or any updated information.
If you require any further information or details in regards to Sudden Death, do not hesitate to contact your funeral director or local Coroners Office:
Manchester Coroners – Manchester City Coroner’s Office, PO Box 32, Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, M60 2LA. Get Directions.
Tel: 0161 219 2222
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm
Cheshire Coroners – The West Annexe, Town Hall, Sankey Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1UH
For cases in the Crewe are: Tel. 01925 442481 / 01925 442479
For cases in the Macclesfield area: Tel. 01925 442478 / 01925 442483
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 8.00am – 4.00pm
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