Blu-Med Response Systems

The Importance of Deployable Morgues for Disaster Sites


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Natural disasters of all types and intensity carry risk of fatalities. Even minor inclement weather scenarios can have tragic effects and loss of life. Deployable morgues fill a critical need within effective medical care operations at disaster sites. Disaster response planning should always include these systems in order to manage deceased victims respectfully, efficiently, and without putting the health of sick or wounded victims at further risk. Deployable morgues are important at disaster sites to provide these critical functions.

Efficient & Portable Morgue Systems

During the mass fatality incidents that sometimes follow natural disasters, hospitals may be overwhelmed with deceased victims in addition to wounded or sick victims. As compared with brick-and-mortar morgue facilities, tensioned fabric structures offer the versatility and portability that is often needed in the event of a disaster with many casualties. BLU-MED’s deployable morgue system is efficiently designed to provide standalone facilities for victim processing and post-mortem investigations in incidents where deceased disaster victims are brought in on a large scale. These morgue facilities are equipped with one of our patented cooling technologies: the Mortuary Enhanced Remains Cooling system (MERC), or the BLU-MED Cooling System.

Since they are also portable, these systems provide the rapid deployment, standalone support and hospital expansion capabilities required for efficient and effective disaster response.

Optimizing Disaster Response Operations

Proper processing of deceased disaster victims requires refrigeration in order to slow decomposition with cooling, until the bodies can be sent to their loved ones, buried or cremated. After disaster strikes, it can be a significant challenge to bring in appropriate refrigeration to accommodate the capacity of victims. And without these facilities, the consequences are near-immediate and catastrophic. BLU-MED’s standalone facilities optimize disaster response efforts with the deceased because they can be rapidly deployed, quickly set up, and easily moved if needed. Furthermore, they are equipped with energy-efficient systems for HVAC, cooling, and additional system options.

Reducing Disease Contamination

The lack of hygiene that often follows a major disaster, particularly in developing countries, can lead to outbreak of serious diseases. By isolating the deceased victims from the sick or injured, the risk of contamination is significantly reduced because the deceased are handled hygienically. With the sterile environments and morgue-specific systems incorporated in BLU-MED facilities, the risk to disaster response personnel is also reduced. This is key, since a study shows that “persons who are involved in close contact with the dead-such as military personnel, rescue workers, volunteers, and others-may be exposed to chronic infectious hazards, including hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, HIV, enteric pathogens, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.”

Minimizing Additional Death

Effective morgues completely separate the holding and processing of deceased disaster victims from the living. This isolation not only reduces the risk for response personnel, but also prevents the spread of fatal diseases that originate from a lack of hygiene or contamination. Although epidemic disease outbreak from corpse contamination is rare, human remains do “pose a substantial risk to health in a few special cases, such as deaths from cholera or haemorrhagic fevers,” according to the World Health Organization. This is a current issue, as seen with the situation of a lack of hygiene and contaminated water in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, which has led to an outbreak of cholera. More than a dozen people have already died in this outbreak.

Respectful Care for the Deceased

Sustaining human life is of top importance with medical practitioners and the systems they use, and the respect we show to the deceased is also very important. A tragic consequence of some natural disasters is a lapse in respectful care for the deceased. This is partially due to insufficient resources, because disasters are often impossible to plan for sufficiently (or at all!). The more severe disasters can also produce an overwhelming amount of deceased victims, which hospitals and disaster response personnel may be under-equipped to handle. Rapidly deployable, standalone morgue systems such as the ones we manufacture provide the ideal solution to this problem. They come fully-equipped with capacity for up to 24 victims, and are designed for quick, easy deployment to the disaster site. Their modular design also makes it simple to add more morgue space, as needed.

BLU-MED deployable morgue systems are mobile, versatile, and highly effective facilities for managing deceased disaster victims. These facilities are standalone and isolate contaminated victims with patented cooling technology. The design makes expansion easy and fast, with self-contained systems for electricity, HVAC, and cooling. At 650 square feet, each structure has capacity for up to 24 victims.

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