Death and Accident Investigation Protocols: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Death and Accident Investigation Protocols

1st Edition

By Mary H. Dudley

CRC Press

138 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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Through an examination and assessment of the body at a death scene, the medicolegal death investigator (MLDI) must be able to recognize circumstances that point to what manner of death occurred—be it natural causes, homicide, suicide, accident, or undetermined. A handy reference for use in the field and in the lab, Death and Accident Investigation Protocols provides 34 checklists and forms to help investigators make these determinations.

Categories of death covered in this guide include:

  • Aircraft and motor vehicle accident
  • Alcohol- and drug-related
  • Blunt- and sharp-force injury
  • Drowning
  • Electrocution, exposure, and fire
  • Gunshot
  • Hanging
  • Hospital- and nursing home-related
  • Infectious disease
  • Natural causes
  • Occupational exposure
  • Poison and toxic substances
  • Sexual assault
  • Suicide

Formatted as a convenient 8 ½ x 11 spiral-bound book, this manual helps investigators know what to look for, what questions to ask, and how to categorize the scene and the physical injuries. The forms in the book can either be copied for use or downloaded from an accompanying CD, which allows for easy form modification. The text includes descriptive illustrations and diagrams associated with various categories of death. An essential tool for the busy investigator, the book facilitates the organization of information for a myriad of death scenarios.


Table of Contents

Aircraft Accident

Alcohol-Related Death

Blunt Force Injury

Child Fatality—Abuse or neglect

Child Infant Death – General

Child-Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Combo/Short Form (Natural death, motor vehicle accident, suicide)

Death report – General


Drug Overdose








Hospital death – natural

Hospital death – Surgical

In Custody Death

Infectious Disease



Medication List

Motor Vehicle Accident – Driver/Passenger

Motor Vehicle Accident – pedestrian

Natural death

Occupational Exposure

Organ and Tissue Donor Information Report Form

Poisons and Toxic Substances

Sexual Assault

Sharp Force Injury


Unidentified Remains

About the Author

Mary H. Dudley, M.D., M.S., R.N., is the chief medical examiner for Jackson County, Missouri and is board certified in anatomic and forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathologists. She completed a two-year fellowship in forensic pathology at the University of New Mexico following a four-year anatomic and clinical pathology residency at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Previously, Dr. Dudley was the chief medical examiner in Sedgwick County, Kansas, and medical examiner for Maricopa County in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Dudley has been active in the field of forensic medical investigation for many years. She developed the first forensic nursing program in Colorado in 1994 and the first Forensic Medical Investigation (FMI) training course in 1996.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief