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Table 3 Classification of types of error in cause of death statement of death certificate

From: Errors in cause-of-death statement on death certificates in intensive care unit of Kathmandu, Nepal

Parts of cause of death statement Types of errors Examples
Part I Immediate Cause of Death (ICOD) Not listed  
Inappropriate information Incorrectly attributed/Trivial conditions
aMechanism of Death (terminal events) Such as asystole, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiorespiratory arrest, electromechanical dissociation, respiratory arrest, ventricular fibrillation.
aMechanism of Death (nonspecific physiologic derangements) Such as arrhythmia, coagulopathy, congestive heart failure, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatic failure, hypotension, ketoacidosis, multi-organ failure, pneumothorax, pulmonary insufficiency, renal failure, sepsis, shock.
aNonspecific anatomic processes Such as anoxic encephalopathy, bowel obstruction, cirrhosis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hemothorax, peritonitis, pulmonary embolism, subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hematoma.
aSymptoms, signs, abnormal clinical and laboratory findings Such as headache, chest pain, dyspnea, asterixis, pain abdomen, hyperkalemia, hypercalcemia
Part I Underlying Cause of Death (UCOD) bNot listed  
Inappropriate information Incorrectly attributed/Trivial conditions
Incomplete information Ill-defined conditions, unspecific and incomplete description of known specific conditions such as neoplasms, infectious diseases, injuries, external causes of death
More than 1 competing UCOD 2 or more unrelated conditions listed
Improper sequence sequence of events doesn’t make sense, UCOD not listed on the lowest completed line of Part I
Part II Other Significant Conditions (OSC) Not listed OSC present but not listed
Inappropriate information Incorrectly attributed/Trivial conditions
Incomplete information not all the known significant conditions are listed
  1. aIll-defined conditions not followed by adequately explained UCOD
  2. bICOD can be the sole entry in COD statement if that condition is the only condition causing death. In such a condition, it is not considered as an error if UCOD is not listed