When a catastrophic emergency occurs, hospital morgues will quickly reach capacity and hospitals will need to implement internal mass fatality plans.
Hospitals should plan for the appropriate bagging and storage of the dead, and consider the evidentiary needs (bodies stored with some space/distance between bodies, appropriate identification/labeling of the body). If the body is contaminated, special bagging, handling and labeling procedures must be ensured. The hospital plan for management of mass fatalities must also include a procedure for providing information about viewing the dead by family members. Careful identification and tracking of the dead must be documented by the hospital and provided to authorities when requested.
Coordination of the facility mass fatality plan with county/region mass fatality planning must occur to provide better community response. Education, training and exercises must be conducted to ensure that staff have a working knowledge of the plan and to ensure that the plan is workable. The hospital mass fatality plan should be consistent with state and local regulations, National Incident Management System and The Joint Commission requirements.
This Mass Fatality Management Plan Template is meant to serve as a framework for planners to build or refine a mass fatality plan for their healthcare facility. This simple tool may be used in conjunction with the Mass Fatality Management Guide for Healthcare Entities, which is a robust resource that contains detailed information regarding the type of information that should be included in a healthcare entity mass fatality management plan.
The Mass Fatality Management Guide for Healthcare Entities includes guidance for hospitals, medical clinics, and SNFs located in Los Angeles County to effectively manage mass fatality operations within their scope as a healthcare partner. This guide includes directions for mass fatality plan development and successful activation, operation, and demobilization strategies for partners within Los Angeles County. As such, the guide seeks to provide a framework for mass fatality management during large-scale disasters, smaller, more localized incidents as well as long-term events.
The Coroners’ Mutual Aid & Mass Fatality Management Planning Program is an integral component of the California Law Enforcement Mutual Aid System.
In the event of incidents that result in mass fatalities, the Coroners’ Mutual Aid System and plan serve as an essential resource to the impacted local Sheriff-Coroner, Coroner, or Medical Examiner should mutual aid be requested.
To assure an effective and efficient response, the Law Enforcement Branch State Coroners’ Mutual Aid Coordinator coordinates all inter-regional mutual aid and state agency activity relating to mutual aid under the Coroner Mutual Aid Plan. The State Coroners’ Mutual Aid Coordinator is the state point-of-contact for any out-of-state official request for coroners mutual aid.
Military, federal and state agencies have worked with Mortuary Response Solutions (MRS) to employ a remains storage solution for mass fatality events. The system provides portable cold storage capability to assist response during times of overwhelmed resources. MRS has designed, engineered and tested the Mortuary Enhanced Remains Cooling System which is the first direct contact cooling system using liquid cooling technology to store human remains. The system can be introduced to agencies through the new IRIS remains recovery platform which is uniquely tailored to fit the needs of each agency and is the only human remains recovery system that is completely portable, scalable and interoperable. The system is adaptable to any response requirement.