North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

N.C. OCME Annual Report 1994

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Chapter 3: Natural Deaths

Nearly fifty percent (49.5) of Medical Examiner cases investigated in 1994 proved to be natural in manner. The majority were either unattended by a physician or sudden, unexpected deaths in persons believed to be previously healthy.

Table 6 illustrates by cause the number of natural deaths investigated by the Medical Examiner System, compared to all natural deaths reported to North Carolina's Vital Records System. The State's Medical Examiners investigate a large percentage of deaths involving alcohol and "ill-defined conditions," and all cases of sudden infant death syndrome.

Table 6: 1994 North Carolina Deaths Natural Deaths by International Classification of Diseases

Class M.E. Cases All Deaths* Percent M.E.
All Natural Causes 3,937 58,987 6.7
Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (001-139) 71 1,913 3.7
Neoplasms (140-239) 141 14,870 0.9
Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Disease / Immunity Disorders (240-279) 59 2,188 2.7
Diabetes Mellitus (250) 38 1,598 2.4
Mental Disorders (290-319) 158 1,255 12.6
Alcohol Psychoses (291) 3 24 12.5
Alcohol Dependence Syndrome (303) 150 208 72.1
Diseases of the Nervous System and Sense Organs (320-389) 19 1,356 1.4
Diseases of the Circulatory System (390-459) 2,893 26,281 11.0
Coronary Artherosclerosis (414.0) 421 2,278 18.5
Diseases of the Respiratory System (460-519) 166 5,650 2.9
Pneumonia and Influenza (480-487) 78 2,221 3.5
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease / Allied Conditions (490-496) 62 2,580 2.4
Disease of the Digestive System (520-579) 96 2,184 4.4
Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis (571) 28 698 4.0
Congenital Anomalies (740-759) 32 303 10.6
Certain Conditions Originating in the Perinatal Period (760-779) 14 553 2.5
Symptoms, Signs and Ill-Defined Conditions (780-799) 256 464 55.2
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (798.0) 120 106 113.2

 

Last Modified: March 9, 2017