SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A shortage of forensic pathologists at San Francisco’s medical examiner’s office is leading to long delays in the release of death certificates with a cause of death.

City data shows more than three-quarters of all pending cases have been awaiting a cause of death for more than three months, violating standards set by the National Association of Medical Examiners.

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The San Francisco Chronicle reports short staffing and slow turnaround times led the association to downgrade the accreditation this year of the medical examiner office.

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The office is supposed to have four forensic pathologists to perform autopsies and determine a cause of death, but it currently only has one permanent and one temporary pathologist.

Chief Medical Examiner Amy Hart says her office is working to improve staffing and turnaround times.

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