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This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

Options for corpse storage during emergency response

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April 1, 2010

The January earthquake in Haiti ravaged a city and left hundreds of thousands dead and injured, quickly overwhelming healthcare services.

A few weeks later, a power plant explosion rocked Middletown, CT, putting the local hospital into emergency response mode.

Although unrelated, these two disasters nonetheless provide a strong case for planning ahead about how to handle actual or potential mass fatalities.

Joint Commission emergency management standard EM.02.02.11, element of performance (EP) 7, requires hospitals to plan for managing mortuary services during a disaster, particularly should an incident escalate within the community.

Although the United States may never see a death toll approaching that from Haiti’s earthquake, even several hundred deaths in a community would overrun most morgues.

Although the United States may never see a death toll approaching that from Haiti’s earthquake, even several hundred deaths in a community would overrun most hospital morgues.



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