The Medical Examiner/Coroner's Guide for Contaminated Deceased Body Management. Academic Article uri icon


  • In the past few years, a number of publications and other resources have appeared concerning the management of mass fatality incidents. Some are geared toward the general management of incidents while others cover more specific topics such as decontamination procedures. Still others cover selected agents, including chemical, biologic, or radiologic ones. Few publications have been written specifically for medical examiners and coroners. The Medical Examiner and Coroner's Guide for Contaminated Deceased Body Management is written specifically for the medical examiner or coroner who will be in charge of investigations of fatalities that result from terrorism or other events that result in contaminated remains. In some such cases, agents may be used that will require mitigation of environmental hazards and decontamination of human bodies. To that end, this Guide provides information and suggestions that may be useful in understanding the principles involved in decontamination procedures, recognizing that it may not be the medical examiner or coroner staff who actually conducts decontamination procedures. The suggestions in this guide may differ slightly from those in other publications. However, those who have contributed to this guide believe that the recommendations are practical, workable, have a scientific basis, and do not differ much in substance when compared with other relevant publications. The contents of this Guide may be reproduced for practical use but the Guide may not be sold and it may not be cited for advertisement purposes. Reference to specific commercial products is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of the product or company which produces the product. The recommendations contained in this Guide are not mandated nor are they required by federal, state, or local law. Rather, the recommendations are intended to assist medical examiners and coroners for the purposes of planning and providing a set of reasonable practice guidelines for incident response.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009