Postmortem microbiology (PMM) is a valuable tool in the identification of the cause of death and of factors contributory to death where death has been caused by infection. The value of PMM is dependent on careful autopsy planning, appropriate sampling, minimisation of postmortem bacterial translocation and avoidance of sample contamination. Interpretation of PMM results requires careful consideration in light of the clinical history, macroscopic findings and the histological appearances of the tissues. This consensus statement aims to highlight the importance of PMM in the hospital setting and to give microbiological and pathological advice on sampling in deaths occurring in hospital.
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Handling editor Tony Mazzulli.
Contributors This submission is the result of a collaborative writing project and all authors have contributed to the writing and redrafting of the article.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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