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What does 189 mean on a death record?

What does 189 mean on a death record?

Posted: 18 Mar 2007 6:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy
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What does 189 mean on death record?

From: Sharon Robinson
DearMYRTLE,
I read you column all the time and love the advise you give, but for the first time I am curious about something.

My grandmother died at the age of 38 in 1920 in Cabell County, West Virginia of typhoid fever. Her one and two-year-old babies also died. I have looked for epidemics in that area with no results. I concluded that there may have been a port of entry near the area and the fever was brought there aboard a ship, but I found nothing. I also looked for floods in the area in 1920 and found none in that year.

On the only death certificate found on one of the babies, it list the cause of death as 189. I would also like to know what 189 means: is it a number used when the death is from typhoid fever? Why didn't they write typhoid fever or just fever on the death certificate. This number has aroused my curiousity, and the death certificate has no attending Physician, no undertaker, no burial date, no dates of care, no county seal.

I would appreciate it, if you could find out especially what 189 means.

DearSHARON,
The US Centers for Disease Control website explains: "Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers , recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S. Typhi in their feces (stool).

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. Typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. Typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

Once S. Typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. The body reacts with fever and other signs and symptoms." See: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/typhoidfever_g.ht...

From this you can see that a "port of entry" is not a required element for the spread of Typhoid fever.

Now as to the term "189" as cause of death. The use of codes are controlled entirely by an issuing agency, so you would need to speak with officials at Cabell County, West Virginia. A quick check of the 11th Edition HANDYBOOK FOR GENEALOGISTS states "County Clerk has birth & Death Records from 1853..." Contact info is as follows:

Cabell County
8th street & 4th Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701
304-526-8625

The Cabell county website at USGenWeb isn't working properly, so Ol' Myrt won't list that as she normally would.

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NOW, DearREADERS, Ol' Myrt wishes to stand on her soapbox
for a moment.
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Do you see the problem that codes/abbreviations can create for researchers that follow? While we know that the death records were not specifically created with family historians in mind, our genealogy databases ARE. For this reason I do NOT recommend creating your own unique numbering system for documents collected throughout your career as a genealogist. CITE SOURCES by listing:
-- Author
-- Title
-- Publication date
-- Page number (or document number)
-- Transcribe (word for word) using original spelling and abbreviation.
-- Then be most careful to also copy the info about codes or abbreviations used in the publication you are quoting.

In Sharon's case, the death certificate arrived without explanation of the code. Her next step is to follow-through with determining the meaning of the code 189. As our medical family histories become more important in determining our potential for disease, going this extra mile proves important.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Re: What does 189 mean on a death record?

Posted: 21 Mar 2007 7:41PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Lewis, Janey, Ault, Willis, Day, Stone
I too just encountered this code and was wondering if you had found out what this means. If so please email me at queen1576@yahoo.com

Re: What does 189 mean on a death record?

Posted: 17 Apr 2007 4:01AM GMT
Classification: Query
Sharon,

There is a brief explanation of the ICDA-9 codes on the West Virginia Vital Statistics webpage entitled Health Statistics Center "1998 Vital", where they provide the following explanation:

Cause of Death Classification
"The cause of death is coded from information contained in the medical certification section of the death certificate. This portion of the certificate is completed by the attending physician. In the case of unattended death, the medical examiner is responsible for investigation and certification. As a general rule, data preceding 1949 cannot be accurately compared with those of later years due to the extensive revision of the coding rules made at that time; however, large causal categories can be compared. See Appendix B, "Groupings of ICDA Codes," for a listing of the selected causes."

URL: http://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/oehp/Vital98/method.htm#ICDA9

What surprised me today

Posted: 17 Apr 2007 3:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy
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What surprised me today

DearREADERS,
Using one alias or another, Ol' Myrt has been around since the pre-Internet days of FIDOnet and BBS (Bulletin Board Services), yet I never cease to be amazed at how genealogists use online tools to help each other out.

WHAT SURPRISED ME TODAY is the response that a DearMYRTLE reader made to a previously published blog inquiry about "What does the code 189 mean on a West Virginia death record?"

See: http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2007/03/what-does-189-mean-on-dea...

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From: Shell NJ
There is a brief explanation of the ICDA-9 codes on the West Virginia Vital Statistics webpage entitled Health Statistics Center "1998 Vital", where they provide the following explanation:

Cause of Death Classification
"The cause of death is coded from information contained in the medical certification section of the death certificate. This portion of the certificate is completed by the attending physician. In the case of unattended death, the medical examiner is responsible for investigation and certification. As a general rule, data preceding 1949 cannot be accurately compared with those of later years due to the extensive revision of the coding rules made at that time; however, large causal categories can be compared. See Appendix B, "Groupings of ICDA Codes," for a listing of the selected causes."

URL: http://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/oehp/Vital98/method.htm#ICDA9
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A quick review of this website provides the answer:
CAUSE OF DEATH - The underlying cause of death, or that condition giving rise to the chain of events leading to death.
[codes] 179-189 -- Genitourinary Organs

Simply amazing! If it takes a village to raise a child, how many researchers does it take to compile a family history?

We all get by with a little help from our friends.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
www.DearMYRTLE.com

(c) 2007 All Rights Reserved.



Re: What surprised me today

Posted: 7 Jul 2012 12:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
Specifically means cancer of the bladder or other Genitourinary organs.
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