1. Check vital functions and pronounce patient dead if permitted to do so, notify physician and record time of death and time pronounced dead.

2. Notify the following:

A. Attending Physician

B. Nursing Supervisor

C. Admitting or Census Department

D. Appropriate Agency for Organ Procedures

E. Medical Examiner

F. Designated Mortician


1. Plan for any special religious/cultural practices desired by family.

2. Offer to transfer any other patients in room to another location temporarily.

3. Wash hands.

4. Gather equipments.


1. Place “No visitor – Check at Nurses’ Station” sign to door.

2. Place body in supine position with bed flat.

3. Place pillow under head.

4. Close patient’s eyes.

5. Remove watch, jewelry and all possessions, give it to the nearest relative.

6. Put on clean gloves.

7. Place small towel under chin.

8. Remove IV and other tubes unless autopsy is to take place.

9. Remove soiled dressings, ostomy bags and replace them.

10. Wash soiled areas of body.

11. Place ABD’s (disposable pads) to the perineal area to absorb any stool or urine released as the sphincter muscle relaxes.

12. Remove and discard gloves.

13. Put a clean gown on the patient.

14. Leave the wrist identifications band in place

15. Attach a second identification tag to the ankle or great toe.

16. If the body is to be viewed, replace top linens and tidy the unit.

17. Care for dentures and eye glasses, after viewing leave dentures in patients mount or place them in a denture container. Dentures and eyeglasses are sent to the morticians with the body.

18. Gather personal effects and give to the family or provide for safekeeping.

19. Wrap body and attach identification tag on outside, if facility policy indicates.

20. Transport body to facility morgue or wait for the arrival of the mortician.

21. Put away or dispose equipment and supplies used.

22. Wash your hands.


1. Evaluate using the following criteria:

A. Body cared for and transported appropriately.

B. All necessary notifications carried out.

C. Family able to carry out rituals, viewing, and spend time with patient as desired. Possessions were carefully handled.


1. Document Post Mortem activities including:

A. Time of cessation of Vital Signs.

B. Persons notified and time of notification.

C. List and documentation of valuable and personal effects.

D. Time body removed from unit, destination and by whom removed.

E. Other information required by faculty.

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