I'm having trouble deciphering a cause of death. So far here's what I think:

line (a) cause: ? , onset: 1 week

line (b) perforated Ca -- sigmoid, onset: 7 mos. (months)

I'm guessing line (b) indicates a perforated colon related to sigmoid colon cancer, and that cancer was diagnosed 7 months ago? What then, is the immediate cause of death?

death certificate

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    I don't see an ICR code here, and that could help as well. Is there a code, like 123 or 12b scribbled anywhere on the full document? It might be handwritten, and in a different colour than black?
    – BrianFreud
    Dec 29, 2021 at 22:20
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    Correction, ICD code.
    – BrianFreud
    Dec 30, 2021 at 5:51
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    There is nothing in the cause of death area, but there are several numbers in a section titled 'Below for state office use'. One of those numbers is 1533, and after looking through the ICD codes, this number corresponds to: Malignant neoplasm of large intestine, sigmoid colon. Thank you for your guidance!
    – E. Moore
    Jan 4, 2022 at 17:19
  • Glad I could help. :)
    – BrianFreud
    Jan 19, 2022 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


I read that as:

  • Peritonitis (1 week)
  • Perforated Ca - sigmoid (7 mos)

The sigmoid presumably refers to the sigmoid colon having been perforated leading to peritonitis.

  • Thank you for clarifying. Any idea what the "Ca - " portion stands for? I assumed 'cancer, sigmoid' The death certifiate of this person's father lists "adenocarcinoma of colon" as cause of death, and I'm trying to figure out if colon cancer has affected several people in the family.
    – E. Moore
    Dec 25, 2021 at 3:35

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