Expanded guidance for certifying deaths due to post-acute sequelae of COVID-19
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Expanded guidance for certifying deaths due to post-acute sequelae of COVID-19

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      In April 2020, the National Center for Health Statistics released Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. As our knowledge of COVID-19 and its effects has progressed over time, it is now known that patients can recover from the acute phase of the infection but still suffer from long-term effects. Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), commonly referred to as “long COVID,” can cause a wide range of serious complications, including death (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsrr/vsrr025.pdf). Consequently, the original guidance document has been expanded to include guidance on how to properly certify deaths due to PASC.

      Certifiers should only report conditions that they determine caused or contributed to death. If the certifier determines PASC was a cause of death, then they should report it on the death certificate using standard terminology, i.e., “Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19.” In accordance with all death certification guidance, if the certifier determines PASC did not cause or contribute to death, then they should not report it on the death certificate.


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