Fatality Management During Pandemic Outbreaks

National Incident Management System (NIMS) has a job category for Casualty Care Leader or Mortuary Team Leader. Training is offered in the National Quality System (NQS) if the staff assigned to this position has not received training related to the activities of extended mass casualty management operations. In the event that the staff assigned to this role has not been trained, please direct them to the NIMS training site for additional details and training. ( https://training.fema.gov/nims/ )

Strategies for Success:

1) Ensure that the mass fatality plan is being effectively implemented and the following is addressed:

    • Family notification (with law enforcement and medical examiner/coroner assistance)
    • Family support center
    • Safe and respectful storage
    • Security
    • Proper handling of personal effects
    • Evidence preservation/chain of custody
    •  Documentation
    • Integration with medical examiner/coroner/law enforcement

2) Ensure the Staff assigned to the role has received the Job Description Card from the Incident Command structure and has completed all required trainings

3) Ensure the Staff assigned to this area communicates frequently with the Coroner’s Office in the local area – coroner is responsible for the local area and can waive certain requirements

4) Provide Staff assigned to this area with support services including emotional and personal support items.

If you are having trouble managing these Mortuary operations, contact your local emergency management group and ask about the following:

Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT)

A Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team or DMORT is a team of experts in the field s of victim identification and mortuary services. DMORTs are activated in response to large scale disasters United States to assist in the identification of deceased individuals and storage of the bodies pending the bodies being claimed.

DMORT members work under the local authorities of the disaster site and their professional licenses are recognized by all states.

DMORT Teams:

• REGION I (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI)
• REGION II (NY, NJ, PR, VI)
• REGION III (PA, MD, DC, DE, VA, WV)
• REGION IV (AL, KY, TN, NC, SC, GA, MS, FL)
• REGION V (MN, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH)
• REGION VI (NM, TX, OK, AR, LA)
• REGION VII (NE, IA, KS, MO)
• REGION VIII (MT, ND, SD, WY, UT, CO)
• REGION IX (AZ, NV, CA, HI)
• REGION X (WA, AK, OR, ID)

Resources:

White Paper: Morgue Operations, Identification, and Command and Control of Mass Fatalities resulting from a Pandemic Influenza Event in the United States: link
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/sites/default/files/public/php/176/176_white_paper_morgue_op.pdf

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

Fatality Management
https://asprtracie.hhs.gov/technical-resources/65/fatality-management/0#guidelines-and-protocols

Was this helpful?

We appreciate your feedback regarding whether you found this article helpful or not.
Did you find this information helpful?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Shopping Cart