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No space for bodies at the KHMH morgue, Forensic Department steps in to assist

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Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2021. 4:28 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: With one of the two morgue storage units at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) out of commission, the hospital authority has had to request assistance from the Forensic Department to store bodies.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the KHMH Timothy Seguro, explained that the hospital has a capacity of 21 bodies in the morgue, however, the increased number of deaths brought on by the COVID-19 has put a further strain on the storage situation.

“With the rate of deaths that we’re having, this includes COVID and regular deaths we will exceed that 21 in no time,” Seguro said. “We have 15 [in the morgue] and we had to ask the Forensics Department to take on three of the bodies that we are supposed to be responsible for.”

He noted that, of the 15 bodies in the morgue, six of them were COVID-19 positive patients, and keeping them there for an extended period of time increases the risk of cross-contamination to morgue staff and others visiting the morgue.

Seguro added that as a temporary measure, they can store two bodies on one shelf, depending on the size, but the measure is not recommended as straining the only working unit could have disastrous consequences.

He noted that the morgue storage unit that is dedicated to the Forensics Department is the one that is out of order and that the department is working on having the unit back online by the end of the week.

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