Guidance for certifying COVID-19 deaths
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Up-to-Date Info: To find the latest CDC information on this topic go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Guidance for certifying COVID-19 deaths

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  • English

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    • Description:
      NCHS is receiving questions about how deaths involving the new coronavirus strain should be reported on death certificates. We are working on formal guidance to certifiers to be published as soon as possible. In the meantime, to address the immediate need, here is some basic information that can be shared in advance of the more formal and detailed guidance. It is important to emphasize that Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death. Other terminology, e.g., SARS-CoV-2, can be used as long as it is clear that it indicates the 2019 coronavirus strain, but we would prefer use of WHO’s standard terminology, e.g., COVID-19. Specification of the causal pathway leading to death in Part I of the certificate is also important. For example, in cases when COVID-19 causes pneumonia and fatal respiratory distress, both pneumonia and respiratory distress should be included along with COVID-19 in Part I. Certifiers should include as much detail as possible based on their knowledge of the case, medical records, laboratory testing, etc. If the decedent had other chronic conditions such as COPD or asthma that may have also contributed, these conditions can be reported in Part II.

      Alert-1-Guidance-for-Certifying-COVID-19-Deaths.pdf

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