Health professionals tend to make extensive records on an individual-by-individual basis. Even when systems and procedures are disrupted by violence and social breakdown, considerable efforts are often made to provide and store what records are possible on the details of the injured and dead who are seen by medics or paramedics, or who are brought to hospitals.
When an individual dies, death certificates are often is sued by medico-legal agencies such as morgues. Sometimes casualty recorders obtain death certificates from the issuing organisations, and sometimes from families. Official certification of death is given high priority as a source. Such records tend to be strong on data pertinent to victim identification, and the nature of injury, but weaker on information regarding perpetrators and precise circumstances of the incident causing injury or death. In general, the experience of casualty recorders is that where police, medical, or medico-legal documents can be accessed, their value is high. The most commonly expressed problem is lack of access due to the unwillingness of officials to share the information.
THE RANGE OF SOURCES IN CASUALTY RECORDING, pp. 8-9