LAFOURCHE PARISH CORONER’S OFFICE
2010 ANNUAL REPORT
DR. JOHN C. KING
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MANNER OF DEATH
AUTOPSY JEFFERSON PARISH CASES
MENTAL HEALTH EXAMS
SEXUAL ASSAULT EXAMS
LOUISIANA ORGAN PROCUREMENT & SOUTHERN EYE BANK
As your elected Coroner for the Parish of Lafourche, it is my pleasure to report on our third annual report.
- Through our actions we represent those who can no longer represent themselves.
- Provide quality services as required by law or mandated by the public in order to enhance the health, safety, and general well being of the citizens and guests of Lafourche Parish.
- To assume jurisdiction over persons who come to their death suddenly, or where the death is caused by unnatural or unlawful means ensuring that decedents and their survivors are treated with the highest levels of dignity and respect.
- Ensure that investigations are carried out in an expeditious and professional manner, and maintaining the highest level of sensitivity and compassion to the surviving loved ones during their time of grief.
- Work in partnership with other organizations toward the reduction of preventable deaths.
- Provide educational presentations and continually serve as a resource to the public regarding the field of medicolegal death investigation.
Our continued services to the citizens of Lafourche have improved and we are pleased that we have saved thousands of dollars in operational costs and expenses.
We purchased a refrigerated trailer to handle overflow of morgue cooler space that saved the Parish $14,000 and had it anchored down with a ramp that was built for easy access to our morgue.
A state-of-the-art X-ray machine was purchased and enables us to find bullets and broken bones, making a major difference in the autopsy protocol in diagnostic abilities. This equipment was purchased brand new and was a savings of over $40,000
A floor scale was purchased and was a $3000 savings.
Our community involvement includes active participation in the Annual Red Ribbon Week with the Lafourche Parish Schools teaching our young students the effects and danger of alcohol/drug usage.
We are pleased to be actively involved with the Lafourche Parish Children and Youth Planning Board.
We are extremely active with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office with training there deputies at the Academy and working closely with the detectives. In-services are provided for continued education.
Our office is the Regional Director for St. James. St. John, Terrebonne, St. Charles, St. Mary and Assumption Parishes for all the Coroner’s Offices and we have initiated a mutual response for any disasters that may occur. We were able to assist the other Coroner’s Office in receiving training and extra body bags in the event of emergencies.
We are active with Mental Health groups and Child Death Review Committees.
Our goals have been met and we are in the process in the recognition in gaining accreditation with the International Coroner’s and Medical Examiner’s Association. In the past 2 and half years this office has exceeded its expectation and has become recognized in the law enforcement community. This could not have succeeded without the assistance of our Parish President, Administrator and the entire Parish Council.
If there is anything that myself or my office can assist, please do not hesitate to call us anytime.
John C. King, MD
Coroner of Lafourche Parish
Medical waste pickup was reduced in half saving the office $2000/year.
Transport Van saved over $40,000 from not utilizing funeral homes and having our investigators transport.
Out of Parish autopsies that use to range 24 cases per year was reduced to only 3 cases for 2010. This is a savings of $20,000
Total autopsies 2010 was 88 versus average of 125 saving minimum of $23,000
Toxicology savings 2010 was $71,000 from previous years.
Disaster bag replacement savings were $12,000
Revenue is received from Cremation permits, Autopsy reports, Coroner Emergency Certificates from out of Parish residents, and organ recovery.
$83,340 Returned to General Fund
Less than $1200 per year was collected prior to my administration
MANNERS OF DEATH
All Coroner Reports determine the manner of each death. All deaths investigated by the Lafourche Parish Coroner’s Office are classified in one of five distinct categories:
NATURAL covers all deaths primarily resulting from a disease of the body and not resulting from injuries or abnormal environmental factors.
ACCIDENTAL covers all accidental deaths including motor vehicle incidents where there is no obvious intent to cause death. This classification includes any death resulting from an action or actions by a person which results in the unintentional death to him/herself or any death to any person that results from the intervention of a non-human agency.
SUICIDE refers to any death from a self inflicted injury where there is apparent intent to cause death.
HOMICIDE includes any death resulting from injuries caused directly or indirectly by the actions of another person. (with the exception of unintentional motor vehicle accidents). Homicide is a neutral term that does not imply fault or blame.
UNDETERMINED is any death which cannot be classified in any of the other categories. The actual cause of death may or may not be known in these cases. An example of an undetermined death would be a drug overdose where it is unclear in one of the other existing categories before considering a classification of undetermined.
TOTAL CASES 2010
TOTAL INVESTIGATED 515
There are currently 6 cases that have not been classified pending further investigation.
POST MORTEM 2010 AUTOPSIES
MENTAL HEALTH EXAMS
88 ORDERS OF PROTECTIVE CUSTODY ORDERS
368 PHYSICIAN EMERGENCY CERTIFICATES
520 CORONER EMERGENCY CERTIFICATES
SOUTHERN EYE BANK
6 residents from Lafourche Parish received a corneal transplant with tissue donated from fellow Louisianans.
15 residents from Lafourche Parish donated ocular tissues to Southern Eye Bank.
2 Non-Lafourche Parish residents donated ocular tissue to Southern Eye Bank in a Lafourche Parish Health Institution.
LOUISIANA ORGAN PROCUREMENT AGENCY
Organ Donors: 4 with 21 Organs transplanted
Tissue: 9 donors with 450 lives enhanced
Our purpose is to serve our fellow citizens by protecting the public's health and safety, participating in the criminal justice and health systems, and providing data for vital statistical purposes.
In accordance with Louisiana Revised Statute 33:1563
The Lafourche Parish Coroner's Office conducts independent investigations in Lafourche Parish. The purpose of these investigations is to determine the manner and cause of death and ensure that the circumstances surrounding the death are understood and explained.
The savings we have performed are remarkable and we will continue to make improvements as we work into 2011. Our service to the citizens of Lafourche Parish is of pride and deep respect.
We have made so many improvements and work closely with all law enforcement agencies, this is a team effort with the assistance of the Honorable Cam Morvant II, District Attorney, Sheriff Craig Webre and his staff, Parish President Charlotte Randolph, Parish Administrator Crystal Chaisson and the entire Parish Council
Our 2011 goal is to continue to be cost effective, public awareness of infant death prevention, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners available 24/7 and treat our citizens with the upmost respect that they deserve.
Thank you all for your support and guidance
May you have a safe 2011!
John C. King, MD
Coroner of Lafourche Parish