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A Reference guide for completing the death certificate for drug toxicity deaths
Filetype[PDF-1.45 MB]


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  • Description:
    Death certificates provide critical information used by public health officials to detect trends in mortality overall and by cause. State and national mortality statistics based on death certificate data are often used to help determine which medical conditions receive research and prevention funding; set public health goals; and measure population health status at the local, state, and national levels. Because statistical data derived from death certificates are only as accurate as the information provided, it is important that all persons involved in death registration strive for completeness and accuracy in reporting the circumstances and causes contributing to the death. Detailed and specific information on cause and manner of death allows for greater accuracy in determining the underlying and contributory causes of death.

    Instructions for medical examiners, coroners, and other medical certifiers on how to complete the death certificate can play an important role in improving the quality of mortality data. Several documents provide general information on how to complete a death certificate (1,2). This Reference Guide focuses on completing the death certificate for a particular category of deaths—deaths due to acute toxicity involving drugs. Acute drug toxicity deaths are sometimes referred to as overdose or poisoning deaths (3). Although there are other types of deaths that may involve drugs, such as deaths from disease caused by chronic drug use, deaths from existing disease or other condition(s) exacerbated by drug use, deaths from anaphylaxis or adverse effects of drugs, and traumatic deaths in which the decedent was intoxicated (see Appendix I).

    Suggested citation: National Center for Health Statistics. A reference guide for completing the death certificate for drug toxicity deaths. Hyattsville, MD. 2019.

    CS303427

    vsrg02-508.pdf

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