Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News

Covid-19: Coroners needn’t investigate PPE policy failures in deaths of NHS staff, new guidance says

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1806 (Published 04 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1806

Find out more about our #properPPE campaign

Read our latest coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

Rapid Response:

Re: Covid-19: Coroners needn’t investigate PPE policy failures in deaths of NHS staff, new guidance says

Dear Editor,

We are concerned that we may gathering inaccurate data on death related to COVID-19.

Where a death occurs in a person who has tested positive for Covid-19, the cause of death is being recorded as COVID-19 infection. Covid infection may just be coincidental, and the death might have occurred due to another condition such as an acute myocardial infarction, a subarachnoid haemorrhage or other pathology. We need to be mindful of this factor impacting our count of Covid deaths.

In the absence of a post-mortem recording a death as a Covid-19 death, it raises the question about the accuracy of the data.

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 June 2020
Nikhil Kaushik
Consultant Ophthalmologist
Dr K E Pradeep FRCPath, Consultant Pathologist
Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham