The New York State (NYS) Department of Health (DOH) proposes to continue its role as a data collection center for fatalities occurring among World Trade Center (WTC) responders and volunteers. Information on each fatality of interest will be provided to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the WTC Steering Committee. Although there is significant science-based literature on illnesses associated with WTC exposures, the same cannot be said of responder WTC-related fatalities. To date, reports of WTC-related responder fatalities have been spurious and limited to news media reports and medical examiner/pathologist opinion. Therefore, it is difficult to respond to inquiries regarding these cases, both as individual cases and as """"""""clusters"""""""" or """"""""cohorts"""""""" of cases. There is a need for a data collection system that can identify and track all fatalities occurring among WTC responders, post-event, in a timely and complete manner such that science based investigations of root causes can begin to be systematically explored. This information will be used to improve the understanding of the pathology of WTC-related morbidity and mortality and to better understand the etiologies of WTC-related deaths. This may be helpful in improving the medical treatment of individuals who are currently experiencing, or may in the future experience, adverse health effects associated with WTC exposures. NYSDOH will attempt to identify any fatality that has occurred since September 12, 2001 to any responder or volunteer at the World Trade Center. For every fatality, an attempt will be made to obtain information on the decedent's demographics; reported cause of death, including underlying causes; health status prior to and after WTC, details of WTC exposure between September 11, 2001 and June 30, 2002; and autopsy results, when applicable. Next-of-kin interviews will be conducted on all non-traumatic/non-suicide fatalities that have occurred since January 1, 2006. Outreach and education will be provided to instate and out-of-state groups about the WTC Fatality Investigation project and about the need to provide information on any fatality that occurs to a WTC responder. To assist with case ascertainment, BOH will expand upon current relationships with state agencies including health departments, current WTC medical monitoring and treatment programs, the WTC Registry, and with other groups involved with WTC activities. ? ? ? ?
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