Public Health Practices

Multistate collaboration shares lessons learned from 2009 tsunami response in American Samoa

Volunteers and public health/medical professionals from Hawaii and American Samoa responded to infrastructure gaps after the 2009 tsunami.

Colorado Hospital Mass Fatality Summit

As part of the 2009-2010 Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grant, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) partnered with the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) to design and conduct the three-day Colorado Hospital Mass Fatality Summit to prepare Colorado hospitals for managing a mass fatality event.

Public engagement on social distancing and mass fatalities

An Ohio university held urban community engagement meetings on social distancing policies and rural meetings on mass fatalities management.

Mass Fatality Incident Management: Guidance for Hospitals and Other Healthcare Entities

Los Angeles County's mass fatality guidance provides detailed tools and recommendations that may assist hospitals and the offices of Medical Examiners and Coroners during an emergency. The guidance provides checklists for planning, staffing a fatalities management unit, and morgue surge.

Pandemic Influenza Surge Plan to Manage In-Hospital Deaths

New York City's mass fatality guidance comprises two parts: (1) a training course for health professionals who will be involved in fatality management, and (2) a planning tool. The course describes strategies, roles, and responsibilities that will be assumed by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner and health care facilities.

Pandemic Influenza Mortuary Planning Guidelines

The Guidelines use the Incident Command System (ICS) to develop detailed and coherent plans for processing human remains during a pandemic. A Pandemic Mortuary Planning Committee assessed the county's current capacity for mortuary management and established the Unified Mortuary Preparation Facility (UMPF) and Family Assistance Center. The UMPF would enable other funeral homes to cease operations and conduct communications and remains processing through the UMPF.

Virginia Mass Fatalities Management

The Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has created two flowcharts for disposition of remains following death from pandemic influenza and a two-page pamphlet on managing fatalities during a pandemic. The flowcharts describe fatalities care pathways for two scenarios: 1) individuals who die in hospitals or are dead on arrival, and 2) individuals who die in out-of-hospital settings.

Family Assistance Approach to Mass Fatalities (National)

The Family Assistance White Paper was written by a largely military working group to address how social distancing during a pandemic may affect traditional mass fatality management. The report includes discussion about how to set up a virtual family assistance center that would allow family members to identify and mourn a body and receive emotional support without being physically present on-site during a pandemic.

Mortuary and Medical Approaches to Mass Fatalities (National)

Two White Papers identify key issues that need to be addressed when considering fatality management during an influenza pandemic. Information focuses primarily on morgue operations during a pandemic. The papers address issues such as how to identify unattended remains; prioritize Medical Examiner/Coroner services; expedite processing of remains; recruit volunteers and vehicles to transport remains; and process death certificates.

Fatality Management in Alexandria

This city-wide planning document provides detailed information on varied aspects of fatality management during a pandemic and other mass fatality events. Specifically, it defines the local and state jurisdictional responsibilities and identifies key assumptions for handling pandemic influenza-related deaths.

Pandemic planning guide for homeless shelters

The guide for homeless shelters and housing service providers presents a basic, pragmatic, and concise approach to addressing the needs of a vulnerable and often forgotten segment of the population. It contains appropriate assumptions and planning elements to assist homeless and housing service providers in preparing and continuing to care for the homeless during a pandemic.

Guidelines for the Management of Mass Fatalities During an Influenza Pandemic (Canada)

Guidelines from the Canada Public Health Agency aim to assist local planners and funeral directors in preparing to cope with mass fatalities during an influenza pandemic. The guideline covers mass fatalities management, technical and clinical issues, religious preferences, and tribal considerations. While some of the information may be relatively general, this guidance should be useful to local and state governments as they plan to manage mass fatalities.

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