MED-X Protocol for Evaluating an Infectious Cause of Death
This job aid is intended for medical examiners, coroners, and forensic pathologists. It serves as a reminder to consider infectious causes of death in certain situations, and it provides a practical guide to specimen collection and testing.
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Protocol for Evaluating an Infectious Cause of Death (PDF: 94KB/1 page)
Antemortem and/or postmortem signs and symptoms indicating a possible infectious disease related death are determined by the investigator and/or ME.
1.1 If applicable, request available lab results from antemortem sampling.
1.2 Decide to conduct an autopsy or not based on the report from the death scene investigator and resources available.
- If no autopsy done, skip to 4.0 Case Reporting.
- Table 1: Checklist of Antemortem and Postmortem Signs and Symptoms
- Table 2: Checklist of Pathologic Syndromes
2.1 If an autopsy is done, collect specimens and submit them for appropriate testing.
2.2 Collect additional specimens based on antemortem signs and symptoms, and pathologic syndromes.
- For cases with no organism-specific etiology, MDH may follow-up with the case as a part of the Unexplained Death Program.
4.1 Notify MDH of cases meeting criteria from the Case Definition on at least a monthly basis and report any helpful follow-up findings.
4.2 Methods of Reporting:
- ME site fills out Case Report Form and sends to MDH
- ME site notifies MDH of cases and MDH will fill out Case Report Form
- MDH conducts case identification at ME site
- Case Reporting
There are three methods of case reporting and each ME office can determine which works best for you.