Definition of Multiple system failure

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Multiple system failure: The failure of two or more systems in the body as, for example, the cardiovascular and renal systems. Multiple system failure is also known as multiple organ failure, as when both the heart and kidney give out. Multiple organ or system failure is often given as the cause of death on the death certificate. However, the National Center for Health Statistics recommends that: "When a number of conditions or multiple organ/system failure resulted in death, the physician, medical examiner, or coroner should choose a single sequence to describe the process leading to death and list the other conditions... "


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