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One Quarter of Death Certificates Wrong

Published onsdag 30 april 2008 kl 09.50

According to a new report, almost one in four death certificates signed by Swedish hospital physicians fail to correspond to reality.

Lars Age Johansson, who conducted the study for the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare, tells the newspaper “Dagens Medicin” that the problem lies both with the doctors and with the paperwork. The forms they use, he says, follow an international standard from 1948 that doesn’t reflect current health conditions, where sudden deaths are much less common.

After comparing more than 1000 death certificates with the patients’ hospital journals, Lars Age Johansson says that 23 percent of the time doctors wrote the wrong cause of death.

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