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Certifying Deaths to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

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In a public health emergency such as COVID-19, death certificate information is critical in measuring the pandemic’s effects on the population and directing the appropriate public health response Death certificates provide crucial data on causes of death and are used to document deaths resulting from this pandemic

This can only be done with complete and accurate cause-of-death reporting When COVID–19 is determined to be the cause of death, it is important that it be reported on the death certificate Otherwise, proper tracking of the pandemic is not possible Proper cause-of-death certification requires that you use your best clinical judgment to determine the causes of death to report in the cause-of-death section of the death certificate Report the immediate cause on line A

This condition should be followed by any relevant intermediate causes in a logical sequence in terms of time and etiology below A specific underlying cause should go on the lowest line used in Part I Leave any unused lines blank Any other conditions that may have contributed, but were not part of the sequence in Part I, should be reported in Part II If COVID-19 is determined to be the underlying cause, it should be reported on the lowest line used in Part I with any conditions to which it gave rise, such as pneumonia or respiratory distress, in a logical sequence on the lines above

Com orbidities that contributed to death, such as COPD or hypertension, should go in Part II A 34-year-old female went to her primary care physician complaining of 6 days of fever and cough She was admitted and underwent a CT scan of the chest, which revealed diffuse ground-glass opacification indicative of viral pneumonia PCR testing of respiratory specimens confirmed COVID–19 Her condition worsened over the next 2 days, and she developed ARDS

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She was transferred to the ICU and started on positive pressure ventilation, but expired on hospital day 4 The immediate cause was acute respiratory distress syndrome, so that should be on line A, as a consequence of pneumonia, which should go on line B The underlying cause was COVID–19, so it should be reported on line C, the lowest line used in Part I Remember, if COVID-19 is determined to be a cause of death, it should be reported on the death certificate

Report an underlying cause that is specific, along with a logical sequence of conditions to which it gave rise in Part I, and comorbidities in Part II By reporting a specific underlying cause with a logical sequence, you will be doing your part in ensuring the quality of cause-of-death information, which is needed to understand and fight this pandemic For more information, training, and guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic and cause-of-death certification, see the links in the description below

Source: Youtube

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