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  #1  
Old 28 February 2014, 04:57 PM
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Vanishing Man Back To Life After Coroner Pronounces Him Dead

Holmes County - A Mississippi family says they are living, breathing, praying proof miracles happen.

78-year-old Walter "Snowball" Williams died late Wednesday night. Thursday, he was back to life.

Holmes County Coroner Dexter Howard confirms he pronounced Williams dead late Wednesday. He also confirms Williams is alive again.

http://www.wjtv.com/story/24845099/h...w-back-to-life

Wonder if Dr. Howard will be pronounced 'incompetent'.

That's one of my worst nightmares - waking up inside a coffin or body bag. I know that scene in Diamonds Are Forever was sort of played for laughs but it was still kind of creepy.
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  #2  
Old 01 March 2014, 06:07 PM
Meka Meka is offline
 
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Bit of a nitpick, but if he really is a coroner (as opposed to a medical examiner and/or pathologist) then he may well not be a doctor of anything - he might not have any formal medical training at all. Not that it excuses what happened, but the two terms really aren't interchangeable.
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  #3  
Old 01 March 2014, 06:16 PM
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Not so much a miracle as a really big mistake. And a reason why coroners should have to be doctors.
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  #4  
Old 01 March 2014, 06:28 PM
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Found some more info:

Quote:
Howard is an elected official and not a doctor. More than 1,500 counties in the United States elect coroners and most don't require medical degrees.

Neither in his 12 years as county coroner nor during his decade as deputy coroner has Howard seen anything like it. Howard was absolutely certain Williams was dead.

The only reasonable explanation he could think of, Howard said, is that Williams' defibrillator, implanted beneath the skin on his chest, jump-started his heart after he was placed in the body bag.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/28/us/dea...mes-back-life/
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  #5  
Old 01 March 2014, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Not so much a miracle as a really big mistake. And a reason why coroners should have to be doctors.
Perhaps. But does it really take an MD to determine death? MDs have been known to pronounce people dead that turned out not to be. I would think that since many coroners aren't MD and a large percentage of deaths are pronounced by Coroners that if the problem was that the coroners aren't MD then this would be pretty common. Since it isn't, the non-MD coroner vs. MD doesn't appear to be a significant factor.

As my ER MD SIL says... "they aint dead until they are cold and dead, and even then wait a bit longer before doing the paperwork and bagging them."
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  #6  
Old 14 March 2014, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Walter Williams, the Mississippi man who returned to life after being pronounced dead about two weeks ago, died Thursday.
Full Story.

Presumably they poked him with a stick or something this time.
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  #7  
Old 14 March 2014, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Perhaps. But does it really take an MD to determine death? MDs have been known to pronounce people dead that turned out not to be. I would think that since many coroners aren't MD and a large percentage of deaths are pronounced by Coroners that if the problem was that the coroners aren't MD then this would be pretty common. Since it isn't, the non-MD coroner vs. MD doesn't appear to be a significant factor.

As my ER MD SIL says... "they aint dead until they are cold and dead, and even then wait a bit longer before doing the paperwork and bagging them."
There's no reason it should be "pretty common" because of non-MD coroners. It's a rare set of circumstances that leads to the problem. But I think doctors are more familiar with those circumstances, and have certainly received more training about those circumstances.
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Old 14 March 2014, 10:58 PM
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UL alert: I heard Rick on Pawn Stars explaining to someone that a wake was a gathering after a person dies in case they aren't quite dead and wake up. (A wake was originally a night-time prayer vigil; now it's usually a service and/or reception the night before the funeral)
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  #9  
Old 15 March 2014, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
There's no reason it should be "pretty common" because of non-MD coroners. It's a rare set of circumstances that leads to the problem. But I think doctors are more familiar with those circumstances, and have certainly received more training about those circumstances.
That is probably true. But, a Coroner has probably seen more dead people than a typical doctor. I would think that means they are, in general, pretty aware of the ways that death can be misdiagnosed.
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  #10  
Old 15 March 2014, 06:46 PM
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I'm saying a coroner should be a doctor. Not that some random doctor should be brought in to pronounce the death. So the doctor will have the experience and training of being a doctor, and the same experience a lay person would have as a coroner.
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  #11  
Old 17 March 2014, 07:05 PM
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Other medical professionals can 'call' a patient dead; paramedics for example (though in many cases we will clear it with our medical director (who is a doctor) but that doctor isn't physically there).

And yea the phrase 'they aren't dead until they are cold and dead' is a pretty common one, and probably good general advice. There is also the 'six foot rule', which states that if the head is six feet away from the body you are allowed to forgo performing CPR.
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  #12  
Old 17 March 2014, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillas View Post
Presumably they poked him with a stake or something this time.
I fixed it for you.
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  #13  
Old 18 March 2014, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
I fixed it for you.
Wouldn't work for zombies, and there's no proof he was drinking blood.
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  #14  
Old 18 March 2014, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I'm saying a coroner should be a doctor. Not that some random doctor should be brought in to pronounce the death.
That sounds like a waste of doctors to me - you'd be using expensive, valuable training for a job that doesn't really require it.

How often is a coroner called to certify somebody dead in a situation where medical personnel aren't already involved, or it's not very obvious that the subject is dead, anyway? Unless things are different in the USA, coroners aren't first responders - they're as much of a legal requirement than a medical one.
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  #15  
Old 18 March 2014, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
Wouldn't work for zombies...
It would it the stake was sloped and you hammered it deep enough into the ground (AIUI, the vampire trick is to hammer an oak stake through the vampire's heart and into the ground beneath).
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  #16  
Old 18 March 2014, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
That sounds like a waste of doctors to me - you'd be using expensive, valuable training for a job that doesn't really require it.

How often is a coroner called to certify somebody dead in a situation where medical personnel aren't already involved, or it's not very obvious that the subject is dead, anyway? Unless things are different in the USA, coroners aren't first responders - they're as much of a legal requirement than a medical one.
And in some very rural parts of the country, there may not be a doctor to perform the office anyway.

That said, were I the coroner of say, Deaf Smith County, I wouldn't put myself in the position of declaring someone dead without ample evidence: decomposition, decapitation, exsanguination, or the afore mentioned cold dead. Otherwise, I'd cover my ass and get a medical opinion.
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  #17  
Old 18 March 2014, 08:13 PM
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He died for really real a few days ago.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mississi...-ago-has-died/

Williams was in hospice care. I don't know if it works the same all over but my mom was a visiting hospice nurse for many years. She would have her turn as the on call nurse and have to go declare death when a family called. The coroner wouldn't have reason to doubt someone with hospice training. OTOH you'd someone with that training would understand hypoglycemia and the side effects of meds in question.
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  #18  
Old 18 March 2014, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
That sounds like a waste of doctors to me - you'd be using expensive, valuable training for a job that doesn't really require it.

How often is a coroner called to certify somebody dead in a situation where medical personnel aren't already involved, or it's not very obvious that the subject is dead, anyway? Unless things are different in the USA, coroners aren't first responders - they're as much of a legal requirement than a medical one.
Pronouncing a person dead isn't all that coroners do. Not only should they be doctors, but they should actually be specialists in forensic pathology, given their responsibilities.

Quote:
But no matter what form it takes, the death investigation system in the U.S. is in trouble. A yearlong investigation by NPR, PBS Frontline and ProPublica has found a dysfunctional system short of qualified people, squeezed for resources and lacking in oversight.

Two years ago a blue ribbon panel created by the National Academy of Sciences pointed out the lack of mandatory standards for autopsies and the absence of oversight into the performance of coroners and medical examiners. It recommended that the goal of every state should be to move away from a coroner system, which is not based on medicine, and instead hire board certified forensic pathologists and put them to work as medical examiners.
http://www.npr.org/2011/02/02/133403...etermine-death
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  #19  
Old 18 March 2014, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
Williams was in hospice care. I don't know if it works the same all over but my mom was a visiting hospice nurse for many years. She would have her turn as the on call nurse and have to go declare death when a family called.
That's how it worked when my mom died in hospice care two years ago.
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  #20  
Old 19 March 2014, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
It would it the stake was sloped and you hammered it deep enough into the ground (AIUI, the vampire trick is to hammer an oak stake through the vampire's heart and into the ground beneath).
So not so much a stake but more like a spear, then?

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