Your Guide to the Good Life on the South Shore of Tampa Bay


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When Death Occurs

At Home or Away from a Health Care Facility:
Sudden, unexpected death: Call 911 for an ambulance.

Expected death: When someone who has been terminally ill dies at home, call 911 to summon paramedics, who will be needed to pronounce the person dead. An exception is Hospice patients whose Hospice nurse should be called.

You will need to give the paramedics the name of the deceased’s physician, who will sign the death certificate. When death occurs at home or away from a health care facility, a deputy sheriff will make the death report, and the remains will be taken to the medical examiner’s office. After the body has been released by the medical examiner, the funeral home will arrange further services.

Making Final Arrangements

When death occurs in the hospital, the family must make arrangements with the funeral home. Funeral homes can be contacted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They will make an appointment with the family to discuss options and meanwhile will transport the body to their facility.

In cases where the remains are to be transferred out of the area, local funeral homes can handle the details, and will charge a modest fee.

Although it involves a confrontation with mortality that some may find uncomfortable, making advance arrangements can be helpful. Doing so will relieve the survivors of a difficult task at an emotionally trying time, and allows the deceased a role in making choices.

Death Certificates

After being signed by a physician indicating the cause of death, a death certificate is filed with the County Health Department’s Vital Statistics unit. Copies of the death certificate are available from either the funeral director or the local State Vital Records office at 813-307-8002.

For more information:

Read more about life after 65


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