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Cause of death: where there is no physician


The previous sections described the processes involved in certifying cause of death (COD) where the death occurs within a health facility or hospital. However, many deaths, especially in low and lower-middle income countries, occur at home or in facilities where there are no physicians to medically certify COD.

In such settings, the only practical option for assessing cause of death patterns is to apply verbal autopsy (VA). This consists of a short, structured, and retrospective interview inquiring about the signs and symptoms experienced by the deceased before death, generally administered to family members of the deceased or others who were present shortly before death. Analysis of the interview responses enables the determination of a probable COD.

In this section you will learn about:

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