So the approved method from the link is:
“If multiple death records occur, the date and the person have to be the same, but the cause can be different. Can be reported by different sources as well.”
However, at the THEMIS discussion today (which I unfortunately missed), they proposed a different solution based on this discussion, which is also somehow marked as Accepted.
This solution is to put the causes of death in the condition table. I think this was precipitated by the envisioned move to v6.0 where the death date would be moved to the Person table and the causes to the Conditions table. However v6.0 never happened and never will. Is the next major release still planning on deprecating the Death table?
However, in current version 5.4, there is still a Death table which has cause-of-death data. It was suggested to put one cause-of-death in the Death table and the others in the Condition table, but that doesn’t make any sense to me from either a database perspective or an analysis perspective.
Remember, this is not 2 causes of death, it’s one ICD10CM cause of death (J96.21) that maps to two SNOMED codes (389086002 & 67905004).
So if I use a MIN() function to select just one of these codes, it will always be “Hypoxia”. Researchers looking for “Acute-on-chronic respiratory failure” will have to know to look in the Conditions table to find any other codes. There might as well not be a cause-of-death field in the Death table. Which was the point in version 6.0. But we’re not there.
So for the current version (v5.4) I think the convention should be multiple records (concept-ids) should be allowed for a Person as long as they have the same death date, which appears to be the established convention as quoted above.
If and when a new major version arrives which eliminates the Death table, this convention can be changed to put the cause of death in the Condition table.
@clairblacketer @MPhilofsky @Christian_Reich @Mark @QI_omop