Fatality Management Plan
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Fatality Management Plan

Fatality Management is the process and accompanying functions in conducting decedent identification and storage, morgue operations, personal effects management, assistance for family members, and disposition of human remains.

A Mass Fatality Incident (MFI) is any occurrence where the number of fatalities exceeds the hospital’s existing morgue capabilities or what is normally managed by community medical/legal systems. In the event of a major disaster within a specific locale, it may be several days before the Department of Coroner, County Morgue, or private mortuaries can respond, process, and recover decedents.

The Fatality Management Plan is a planning document that augments the hospital’s existing Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and incorporates the fundamental principles of all-hazards emergency management. The Fatality Management Plan Annex provides for the proper coordination of mass fatality incident management and response activities, and establishes means and methods for the sensitive, respectful, orderly care and handling of human remains in multi-death disaster situations.

OVERVIEW

The hospital forms a cross-functional, mufti-disciplinary planning team that can be actively engaged for the duration of the project. The Fatality Management Plan development process leverages a self-directed, proprietary planning tool that is supported by DQE through a series of remote and/or onsite consultation that focuses on:

  • Expanding current morgue operations, identifying and tracking decedents, managing personal effects, assisting next of kin, and supporting inter-agency coordination
  • Enhancing personnel safety and accountability
  • Providing compassionate care for decedents and their next of kin
  • Ensuring proper remains handling, disposition, and documentation

DETAILS

The Fatality Management Plan addresses:

  • Mitigation measures, preparedness activities, response actions, and recovery strategies
  • Requirements and strategies for:
    • Expanding current morgue operations
    • Decedent identification and tracking
    • Personal effects management
    • Assisting next of kin
    • Inter-agency coordination
  • Strategies for managing the following during a mass fatality incident:
    • Communication and information sharing
    • Resources and assets
    • Safety and security
    • Staff responsibilities
  • Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) modifications to support fatality management processes, as appropriate