For Physicians & Hospitals


To: Pinal County Emergency Department Administrators and Management 
Subject: Deaths Reportable to the Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Office

Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 11-593, subsection B, deaths that are known to have occurred under the following circumstances must be reported to the Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Office (PCMEO) for inquiry:

  • Death while not under the current care of a healthcare provider as defined pursuant to ARS section 36-301
  • Death resulting from violence
  • Death occurs suddenly when in apparent good health
  • Death of a prisoner
  • Death occurring within a prison
  • Death occurring in a suspicious, unusual, or unnatural manner
  • Death from disease or accident is believed to be related to the decedent’s occupation or employment
  •  Death is believed to be a public health hazard
  • Death occurs during, in association with, or as the result of anesthetic surgical procedures
  • Death involving unidentified individuals

Reporting Deaths to the PCMEO 

To report a death to the PCMEO, please dial 520-866-5260 and select option one (1)
Be prepared to provide the PCMEO investigator with the following information:

  • The decedent’s demographic information to include: 
    • Full legal name, date of birth, home address, race/ethnicity, and marital status
  • Name and phone number of the decedent’s next of kin (if known)
  • Time of death and name of the individual who pronounced death
  • Known circumstances of death
  • Brief summary pertaining to the course of treatment upon arrival (to include laboratory testing, imaging studies, and diagnostic testing)
  • Medical, social, and surgical history 
  • Name of primary care of specialty physician (if applicable)

Expectations Following Invoked Jurisdiction

From the point that a PCMEO investigator determines that the known circumstances of death fall within the criteria documented above, the decedent’s body is considered to be under the jurisdiction of the PCMEO. In an effort to assist the PCMEO with evidence preservation, please refrain from performing and/or allowing any of the following actions without prior discussion with and having obtained verbal permission from the assigned PCMEO investigator:

  • Remove any medical intervention items, including (but not limited to) advanced airway devices, intravenous catheters, intraosseous catheters, and/or cervical collars
  • Remove any personal property from the decedent’s person
  • Discard any specimens (i.e. blood or urine) obtained during treatment
  • Allow any non-medical facility or law enforcement personnel to touch, hold, or undress the decedent.
    • Circumstances permitting and at the discretion of the PCMEO investigator, family/friends will have the opportunity to view the decedent prior to removal from the facility
  • Clean or bathe the decedent

Please do not hesitate to contact the on-duty PCMEO investigator with any questions or concerns or in the event that any clarification with regard to PCMEO policy and procedure is warranted.