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Journal Article

Citation

Quesinberry D, Bunn TL, Hargrove S, Slavova S. Acad. Forensic Pathol. 2019; 9(1-2): 66-80.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, National Association of Medical Examiners)

DOI

10.1177/1925362119851127

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:To (a) determine the impact of Kentucky?s (KY?s) mandate requiring postmortem toxicology testing of coroner cases; (b) identify the influence of coroner experience and training, jurisdiction size, budget, and location on postmortem testing requests; (c) identify facilitators/barriers for postmortem toxicology testing requests and listing the specific drugs involved in drug-poisoning deaths on death certificates.

METHODS:A modified Dillman approach was used to deliver the survey to KY?s elected coroners between April and May 2016. Responses stratified by identified influence factors were compared using ?2 tests and Fisher exact tests.

RESULTS:Fifty-eight percent of coroners reported that drug overdose investigations had changed since the mandate was enacted. Statistically significant differences in responses were found when stratified. Sixty-three percent of coroners reported always using testing results to complete death certificates.

CONCLUSIONS:Uptake of the mandate for postmortem toxicology testing of all decedents is not yet complete.Policy Implication:Without uptake of the mandate, surveillance efforts may result in undercounting of drug overdose deaths and the involvement of specific drugs. Mandates for enhanced training and modification of funding structure for medico-legal death investigations could facilitate uptake.


Language: en

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