Workplace safety concerns in medico-legal death investigations related to COVID-19
The personnel involved in the management of COVID-19 affected dead bodies, including law enforcement personnel at the scene of crime, personnel involved in transportation of the dead bodies, forensic practitioners, autopsy pathologists, mortuary personnel, as well as the family members of the dead, etc. are at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Post-mortem examination is a high-risk procedure, considering that it involves aerosol generating procedures, and exposure to body fluids. The safety of the forensic practitioners and support staff in the management of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 deaths hence, is of extreme importance, especially in the absence of pre-autopsy testing for COVID-19 and due to non-availability of adequate first-hand medical history of the deceased. This communication aims to highlight the current practices and advises certain guidelines in ensuring occupational health and safety in view of these risks in medico-legal death investigations.
Copyright (c) 2021 Rijen Shrestha, Kewal Krishan, Tanuj Kanchan
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