10TH ANNUAL CORONER FORENSIC COLLABORATIVE
Celebrating successes through collaboration and education
On Friday February 10 and Saturday February 11, 2017 LOPA (Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency) hosted their 10th Annual Coroner Forensic Collaborative at the LITE Center, 537 Cajundome Boulevard. The Coroner Collaborative is a two-day education conference for coroners, death investigators, pathologist and forensic staff. The Coroner Forensic Collaborative focuses on current issues in the field of forensics and death investigation.
“Coroners play a critical role in the donation process,” says Kelly Ranum, CEO of LOPA. “They are responsible for determining manner and cause of death for any unnatural deaths. Many of our potential donors are coroner cases, and we need authorization from the coroner before we can proceed with donation. Last year (2016) was the first year in LOPA’s history no organ donor cases were denied by a Louisiana coroner.” Dr. Todd Thoma, President of the Louisiana State Coroner’s Association says, “The Coroner’s Association, in partnership with LOPA, has been working very hard to create the best practices that maintain forensic evidence and still allow donation to occur.”
Hospitals in Louisiana notify LOPA on all deaths to ensure families are offered the option of donation, when appropriate. In 2016, several coroner’s offices notified LOPA of deaths that occurred outside of the hospital setting in order to offer even more families the opportunity to donate. The referrals from these coroners resulted in 66 tissue donors last year. “By partnering with coroners throughout the state, LOPA is able to help honor the wishes of more individuals who are registered organ, tissue and cornea donors,” says Pam Cart, LOPA’s forensic coordinator.