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CDC Guidance for Certifying COVID-19 Deaths
Guidance for Death Certificates due to COVID-19-updated 3.31.20
COVID-19 Update for Alaska’s Health Care Providers: CDC Guidance for Certifying COVID-19 Deaths
March 31, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the following guidance for death certificates due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have summarized key points from this guidance in the following:
- It is important to emphasize Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.
- 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.
Here is an example:
For more general guidance and training on cause-of-death reporting, certifiers can be referred to the Cause of Death mobile app available through https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/mobile-app.htm and the Improving Cause of Death Reporting online training module, which can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/improving_cause_of_death_reporting.htm.
Thank you for your dedication and service to Alaskan communities.
Please check the DHSS Human Coronavirus website and the CDC COVID-19 website frequently for the latest information.
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