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Public Health England’s (PHE) carbon monoxide (CO) pilot study was initiated in order to develop a protocol for coroners to test for, and report on CO poisoning at post mortem in England and Wales.

The 2011 All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) report identified a key role for coroners to support increased detection of CO poisoning in England and Wales. The report recommended that “The Government should ensure that all coroners’ post-mortems routinely test for carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) levels”.

This pilot took the first important steps towards obtaining a more complete estimate of the number of CO deaths by testing at post-mortem. It was carried out before a national data collection exercise can be undertaken so that the procedure can be defined, developed and implemented.

Recommendations

The final report for this project will be coming soon.