Coroner to 'Spot Check' Nursing Home Deaths

Posted: February 10, 2013 at 5 a.m.

Roger Morris, Washington County coroner, shows one of a few unclaimed cremated human remains that he stores at his office Aug. 15 in Fayetteville. Morris received an extra $20,000 from the Quorum Court to do spot checks on deaths at nursing homes this year.

Washington County Coroner Roger Morris decided to check on the death of an elderly nursing home resident with a cracked skull earlier this month.

At A Glance

The Law

State law outlines requirements regarding reporting deaths that occur in nursing homes. Part of the law says: In all cases of the death of a long-term care facility resident or a hospice facility resident, that facility shall immediately report the death to the appropriate coroner. All hospitals must also report the death of a person who was a long-term care facility resident within five days before entering the hospital. The report is required regardless of whether the hospital believes the death to be from natural causes, the result of maltreatment or any other case.

Source: Arkansas Code Annotated 12-12-1709

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