Rapid Surveillance Reporting
To more rapidly detect overdose outbreaks or sharp increases in overdose deaths, ISDH will be partnering with coroners to collect preliminary data on suspected overdose deaths (i.e., deaths suspected to involve substances before receipt of forensic toxicology data). Awarded coroners have been asked to provide information on the decedent within a month of the date of death. The data requested includes background on the drug overdose scene and minimal identifiable information on the decedent. ISDH will collect this information using the Coroner Case Management System (CCMS), a repository in which coroners can manage their cases. In order to participate in this activity and receive funding, coroners are required to enroll in and submit reports on drug overdose cases through CCMS. Data collection will begin April 1, 2020.
Suspected Drug Overdose Case Definition
A fatal drug overdose is confirmed by positive toxicology results and is certified by a coroner/medical examiner as such. In order to quickly identify possible overdoses before confirmed toxicology results, we ask that coroners report cases if they meet the following case definition:
- Drug paraphernalia suggestive of use was found at/around the scene OR
- Clinical evidence suggestive of an opioid overdose including pulmonary/cerebral edema, bladder distension, pinpoint pupils, injections sites, foam cone, etc. OR
- Unexpected death with a diagnosis of substance use disorder OR
- Evidence of stimulant overdose including seizures and multiple organ failures resulting from heatstroke OR
- Any other evidence indicative of a drug overdose/prior overdose.
Within CCMS, ISDH will be using the following variables to track suspected overdose deaths:
Coroners must complete these fields in CCMS when filling out cases for each decedent. Instructions on completing this can be found HERE.
Death Investigation Guide
Click here for additional guidance on detecting a drug overdose on scene.
Drug Overdose Prevention Epidemiologist
Page last updated 1/26/2021.