The Medical Examiner’s Costs of the Opioid Epidemic

In Philadelphia, the number of autopsies at the medical examiner’s office has risen about 20 percent since 2013, from 2,489 to 3,018 last year, said department spokesman James Garrow. That required a doubling in the budget for supplies and materials — gowns, safety equipment, and body bags — and the hiring of a new assistant medical examiner. The city doesn’t break out individual costs. “We’re too big an operation,” Garrow said.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/addiction/bodies-opioid-ods-coroners-oxycontin-marino-trump-cdc-cadavers-philadelphia-pathologists-autopsies-norristown-toxicology-20171018.html

By Sam Wood

Congenital Heart Defect Death

NBC10

Spokesman James Garrow of the Philadelphia Department of Health said Friday that 7-year-old Sebastian Gerena died of “anomalous origin of the left coronary artery,” a condition that researchers say can lead to sudden death among the young.

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Heart-Defect-Caused-Philly-Student-to-Collapse-Die-260423751.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_PHBrand

By Staff

Inquirer

A spokesman for the city Health Department declined to release the cause of death yesterday, citing privacy issues. “We saw nothing in the autopsy to suggest this is an infectious disease or condition,” James Garrow said.

https://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140523_Pupil_s_death_spurs_push_for_school_funds.html

By Dana DiFilippo

Burial of Unclaimed Gosnell Remains

Garrow said that, absent family, an unrelated third party must show some connection with the deceased in life – not just an objection to the way they died.

He said the office would hold unclaimed remains for 10 years, although they would be cremated once the staff exhausted efforts to find relatives. After 10 years, Garrow said, cremated remains are buried at local cemeteries.

https://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130825_A_battle_to_bury_remains_of_the__Gosnell_babies_.html

By Joe Slobodzian

Woman Found Alive After Burial

Gawker

Jackson had gone missing earlier this year. When an unidentified woman died in a Philadelphia hospital on July 20th, authorities matched the body to Jackson’s missing-person’s report. Jackson had been dealing with drug and mental health problems, and her family had been trying to find her. Her son saw the pictures of the body, and positively identified the body as Jackson.

“If someone comes in and they’re a family member and say, ‘That’s my mom,’ that’s generally good enough,” Philadelphia Department of Health spokesman James Garrow said.

https://gawker.com/woman-found-alive-two-weeks-after-her-own-funeral-1193752487

By Max Rivlin-Nadler

Huffington Post

The mix-up came as a surprise since Jackson’s son identified the body.

“The gold standard here [for identifying a body] is visual identification by a family member,” so the son’s identification was taken as fact, Philadelphia Health Department spokesman James Garrow told The Huffington Post.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/woman-alive-days-after-funeral-sharolyn-jackson_n_3805276

By Amanda Scherker

Inquirer

A Philly Horizon House worker and Jackson’s son, Travis Jackson, 30, identified her from a photo. A medical examiner signed a death certificate and released what they thought was Jackson’s body.

“If someone comes in and they’re a family member and say, ‘That’s my mom,’ that’s generally good enough,” city Health Department spokesman James Garrow said.

https://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20130825_She_s_alive__so_who_s_in_that_grave_.html

By David Gambacorta

USA Today

The medical examiner determined the woman died of heat stroke, signed a death certificate and released the body to the family, Philadelphia Department of Health spokesman James Garrow said.

“If someone comes in and they’re a family member and say, ‘That’s my mom,’ that’s generally good enough,” Garrow said.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/23/woman-alive-after-funeral/2694005/

By Staff

CBS3

A representative of the Philadelphia Health Department says all proper procedures were followed by workers and, with two people, including a family member, identifying her, it was following protocol to release the body.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/08/22/i-team-exclusive-woman-shows-up-alive-13-days-after-funeral/

By Walt Hunter

Fox29