Document Detail

Natural, unexpected deaths: reliability of a presumptive diagnosis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20002277     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We retrospectively analyzed 100 deaths because of suspicions and concerns expressed by the family. We compared the preautopsy cause of death, as determined by a thorough review of the clinical data and circumstances, to the autopsy-derived cause of death. In the majority (91/100), the preautopsy and postautopsy proximate causes of death were in agreement. In 9%, the autopsy provided information that resulted in a proximate cause of death different than anticipated. In four instances, the manner of death also was incorrect and was determined to be an accident rather than the originally presumed natural. No homicide or suicide would have been misclassified. In another nine instances, where the premortem and postmortem proximate causes of death were in agreement, the autopsy provided a specific mechanism of death. With a quality initial medicolegal death investigation, a subset of sudden deaths in adults may be reliably certified without an autopsy.
James R Gill; Irini A Scordi-Bello
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2009-12-02
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of forensic sciences     Volume:  55     ISSN:  1556-4029     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Forensic Sci.     Publication Date:  2010 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-04-23     Completed Date:  2010-09-14     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375370     Medline TA:  J Forensic Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  77-81     Citation Subset:  IM    
New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner and Department of Forensic Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Autopsy / statistics & numerical data
Cause of Death*
Death Certificates*
Death, Sudden / epidemiology,  etiology*
Forensic Pathology
Middle Aged
Retrospective Studies

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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