MED-X Protocol for Evaluating an Infectious Cause of Death - Minnesota Dept. of Health

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)

1.0 Case Identification

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.

2.0 Lab Specimens and Testing

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.

3.0 Review Findings

3.1 Review lab results from the local testing laboratories. 3.2 Based on the lab results, decide if further testing is needed at MDH and/or CDC. 
  • For cases with no organism-specific etiology, MDH may follow-up with the case as a part of the Unexplained Death Program.

4.0 Case Reporting

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:

  1. ME site fills out Case Report Form and sends to MDH
  2. ME site notifies MDH of cases and MDH will fill out Case Report Form
  3. 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.


Updated Wednesday, 15-Nov-2017 14:09:58 CST