What we learned from those we lost in 2017

When people die suddenly, unexpectedly or unnaturally in King County, their cause and manner of death is reviewed by our Medical Examiner. This review process helps us understand what happened to a given individual, but it also helps us identify, from a public health perspective, trends in death that our department can work to address. […]

Read More

New Overdose Data Suggest Epidemic Outpacing Response

In the US, more people now die each year from drug overdoses than died at the peak of the AIDS epidemic, more than died during the entire Vietnam War. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years of age, and the epidemic cost the US an estimated $117 billion in 2017 alone.  Here are some key findings from our report and my perspective on actions we need to take in order to see this epidemic come under control.

Read More

Medical Examiner’s Report: What we learned from those we lost in 2016

Last year, 14,373 people died in King County. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO) investigated those deaths that were sudden, unexpected or unnatural – 2,494* in total. But, the count of life lost is more than a number. By tracking and analyzing different manners of death as well as trends in homicides, traffic fatalities, […]

Read More

Illicit fentanyl found locally in fake opioid pills

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office received results from the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory late last week that what looked like a bag of oxycodone pills came back positive for fentanyl. The large amount of fake pills were found on a decedent in King County. While the cause of death of the individual is […]

Read More