- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - Four forensic centers in Tennessee will participate in a national study that will investigate unexplained deaths in people under the age of 20.

The Johnson City Press (https://bit.ly/1A91bSv) reports the facilities participating include East Tennessee State University’s William L. Jenkins Forensic Center, Forensic Medical Management Services in Davidson County, the Hamilton County Forensic Center and the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis.

Dr. Karen Cline-Parhamovich, the director of ETSU’s center, says death classification is inconsistent so it’s difficult to know how often unexplained deaths occur in young people.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to be a part of this national effort aimed at understanding the causes of death of young people,” she said. “This underscores the role that forensics centers like ours play in helping provide information and understanding regarding how and why people die.”

The data collection will be overseen by the Tennessee Department of Health.

“Whenever there’s a sudden death in someone less than 20 years old, it’s a tragedy and catastrophic to the families and community where they live. This is one of the first types of studies being done that will comprehensively evaluate sudden death,” Cline-Parhamovich said.

The state is one of 10 in the nation participating in the study.

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Information from: Johnson City Press, https://www.johnsoncitypress.com


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