Oregon Injury and Violence Prevention
The Oregon Violent Death Reporting System (ORVDRS) is a statewide
system that collects detailed information on all homicides, suicides,
deaths of undetermined intent, deaths resulting from legal
intervention, and deaths related to unintentional firearm injuries.
ORVDRS collects data from Oregon medical examiners reports,
local police reports, death certificates and the Homicide Incident
The manner of death showed from data dashboard was determined
according to International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision
(ICD-10) codes for the underlying cause of deaths on death
certificates. If the ICD-10 code is not available, the manner of
death is determined according to death certificate and/or medical
examiner report. Occasionally, data sources may record conflicting
determinations on the manner of death.
Deaths relating to the Death with Dignity Act (physician-assisted
death in terminally ill patients) are not classified as suicides by
Oregon law and therefore are excluded from data collection and the
Death rate is calculated by dividing the number of deaths in a
population in a period by resident population. Some rates are based
on a small number of deaths so from year to year, large swings can
occur in rates. The rates based on small numbers (less than 20
events) may be unstable due to random chance factors, and should be
used with caution. Rates based on counts less than 5 are suppressed
due to confidentiality.
The following are definitions of terms identified in the data
dashboard. The details could be found from NVDRS coding manual.
- Xun Shen, MD, MPH, Epidemiologist, Oregon Violent Death
Reporting System, Injury and Violence Prevention Section,
- Age-adjusted death rate: A mortality rate statistically
modified to eliminate the effect of different age distributions in
the different populations.
- Alcohol problem: A suicide circumstance in which the victim is
perceived by self or others as having a problem with or being
addicted to alcohol. A victim who is participating in an alcohol
rehabilitation program or treatment, including self-help groups
and 12-step programs, and has been clean and sober for less than
five years is also considered as having this circumstance.
- Crude death rate: The mortality rate from all causes of death
for a population. It is calculated by dividing the number of
deaths in a population in a period by resident population.
- Criminal legal problem: A suicide circumstance in which the
victim was facing a recent or impending arrest, police pursuit, or
an impending criminal court date, and the consequence was relevant
to the suicide event.
- Crisis: A suicide circumstance in which an acute precipitating
event appears to have contributed to the suicide (e.g., the victim
was just arrested; divorce papers were served that day; the victim
was about to be laid off; the person had a major argument with a
spouse the night before).
- Depressed mood: A suicide circumstance in which the person was
noted by others to be sad, despondent, down, blue, unhappy, etc.
This circumstance can apply whether or not the person has a
diagnosed mental health problem.
- Eviction: A suicide circumstance in which the victim had
recently been, was in the process of being evicted or foreclosed
on, or was confronted with an eviction, foreclosure, or other loss
of housing, and this appears to have contributed to the death.
- Falls: A mechanism of death resulting from a fall, push or
jump from a high place.
- Family stressors: A suicide circumstance in which the victim
was experiencing significant problems related to family home
environment involving more than an intimate partner or family
members other than intimate partners.
- Financial problem: A suicide circumstance in which the victim
was experiencing monetary issues such as bankruptcy, overwhelming
debts, a gambling problem, or foreclosure of a home or business.
- Firearm: Any weapon (including a starter gun) which is
designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by
the action of an explosive (e.g., gun powder).
- Gang-related: A homicide circumstance in which the victim or
suspect is a member of an association or organization that has the
commission of crime as one of its reasons for existence, and the
homicide resulted from gang rivalry or gang activity.
- Hanging/suffocation/strangulation: Mechanisms of injury
resulting in airway obstruction in which the victim died from lack
- History of suicidal thoughts or plans: Victim had a history of
suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts. Disclosure of suicidal
thoughts or plan can be verbal, written or electronic. This code
is used for victims who have at any time in their life expressed
suicidal thoughts or plans.
- Homicide: A death resulting from the intentional use of force
or power, threatened or actual, against another person, group, or
community. A preponderance of evidence must indicate that the use
of force was intentional.
- Homicide-suicide: Defined as one person killing one or more
others then taking his/her own life within 24 hours.
- Incident: All victims and suspects associated with a given
incident are in one record. A violent death incident can be made
up of any of the following: a) One isolated violent death. b) Two
or more homicides, including legal interventions, when the deaths
involve at least one person who is a suspect or victim in the
first death and a suspect or victim in the second death. c) Two or
more suicides or undetermined manner deaths, when there is some
evidence that the second or subsequent death was planned to
coincide with or follow the preceding death. d) One or more
homicides or unintentional firearm deaths combined with one or
more suicides, when the suspect in the first death is the person
who commits suicide. e) Two or more unintentional firearm deaths
when the same firearm inflicts two or more fatal injuries and the
fatal injuries are inflicted by one shot or burst of shots.
- Intent to die by suicide: The victim had previously expressed
suicidal feelings to another person, whether explicitly (e.g.,
Im considering killing myself) or indirectly
(e.g., I know how to put a permanent end to this
- Intimate partner: A current or former girlfriend, boyfriend,
date, or spouse. The definition of intimate partner includes first
- Intimate partner problem/violence: A suicide or homicide
circumstance in which the victim was experiencing problems with a
current or former intimate partner, such as a divorce, break-up,
argument, jealousy, conflict, or discord.
- IPV-related homicide: A homicide occurred in the context of
intimate partner violence (IPV).
- Job problem: A suicide circumstance in which the victim was
either experiencing a problem at work or was having a problem with
- Legal intervention death: A death in which the decedent was
killed by a police officer or other peace officer, including
military police, acting in the line of duty.
- Mechanism: The primary instrument used by a victim or suspect
that contributed to someones death.
- Mental health problem (Current mental illness): A suicide
circumstance in which the victim was identified as having a mental
health illness diagnosed by someone who is professionally trained.
- Mental health treatment: A suicide circumstance in which the
victim had a current prescription for a psychiatric medication or
saw a mental health professional within the two months prior to
- Physical health problem: A suicide circumstance in which the
victim was experiencing terminal disease, debilitating condition,
or chronic pain, that was relevant to the suicide event.
- Poisoning: A state of illness caused by the presence of any
harmful or toxic substance.
- School problem: Problems at or related to school appear to
have contributed to the death, including poor grades, difficulty
with a teacher, bullying, social exclusion at school, school
detention/suspension, or performance pressures.
- Substance problem: A suicide circumstance in which the victim
was noted as using illegal drugs, abusing prescription
medications, or regularly using inhalants even if the addiction or
abuse is not specifically mentioned.
- Suicide: A death resulting from the intentional use of force
against oneself. A preponderance of evidence should indicate that
the use of force was intentional.
- Suicide attempt history: A suicide circumstance in which the
victim was known to have previously tried to end his/her own life.
- Suicide of friend or family: Death of a family member or
friend due to suicide appears to have contributed to the suicide
- Suicide note: A suicide circumstance in which the victim left
a communication that he or she intended to end his/her own
- Undetermined death: A death resulting from the use of force or
power against oneself or another person for which the evidence
indicating one manner of death is no more compelling than the
evidence indicating another manner of death.
- Unintentional firearm death: A death resulting from a
penetrating injury or gunshot wound from a weapon that uses a
powder charge to fire a projectile when there was a preponderance
of evidence that the shooting was not intentionally directed at
- Veteran: Military/veteran status is indicated on the death
certificate in the section captioned, Ever a member of U.S.
Armed Forces. U.S. Armed Forces comprises five armed service
branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.
- Victim: Person or persons who died in a suicide,
violence-related homicide, legal intervention, as the result of a
firearm injury, or from an undetermined manner.