According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three percent of Americans who died from the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) had a range of “adverse events” listed on death certificates that seem far removed from the disease such as “contact with venomous animals and plants” and “air and space transport accidents.”
The CDC’s most recent death count figures, updated on August 12 and covering the period from the first known coronavirus case in the U.S. all the way to Aug. 8, show that a total of 145,378 Americans have died from COVID-19.
Of these, six percent only list COVID-19 as the only cause mentioned. The CDC bases its classifications on the information listed in death certificates.
“For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death,” wrote the CDC in an explanatory note.
In its report, the CDC also provided a list of comorbidities – health conditions and contributing causes of death – mentioned on death certificates in conjunction with deaths involving COVID-19. Included in these comorbidities was a category called “intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events,” which were cited in 4,401 cases, or around three percent of the total COVID-19 deaths.
“From looking at some of these records, it seems that these are largely cases where someone hospitalized with a non-fatal injury has contracted COVID-19 while in the hospital and subsequently died,” Jeff Lancashire, a spokesman for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, said to Just the News.
Medical professionals refer to a CDC-endorsed document in determining whether a factor in a COVID-19 death is listed as a direct cause of death or whether it merely contributed to death but not the underlying cause. The underlying cause of death (UCOD) is defined as the disease or injury that initiated the events resulting in death.
“If COVID–19 played a role in the death, this condition should be specified on the death certificate,” the guidance states. “In many cases, it is likely that it will be the UCOD, as it can lead to various life-threatening conditions, such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).”
In addition, the guidance states that in a case where “a definite diagnosis of COVID-19 cannot be made, but is suspected or likely,” then medical professionals can still report COVID-19 as the “probable” or “presumed” cause of death.