A 2009 cross-sectional survey of procedures for post-mortem management of highly infectious disease patients in 48 isolation facilities in 16 countries: data from EuroNHID

Francesco M. Fusco, Lucia Scappaticci, Stefan Schilling, Giuseppina de Iaco, Philippe Brouqui, Helena C. Maltezou, Hans Reinhard Brodt, Barbara Bannister, Giuseppe Ippolito, Vincenzo Puro, Working Group Euronhid Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The handling of human remains may pose a risk for transmission of highly infectious agents. The use of appropriate biosafety measures is very important in case of management of patients deceased from highly infectious diseases (HIDs), such as Ebola virus disease. This paper presents the capabilities and resources in this field in 16 European countries, and suggests indications for the safe post-mortem management of HID patients. Methods: The European Network for Highly Infectious Diseases conducted in 2009 a survey in 48 isolation facilities in 16 European countries. A set of standardized checklists, filled during on-site visits, have been used for data collection. Results: Thirty-nine facilities (81.2 %) reported to have written procedures for the management of human remains, and 27 (56.2 %) for the performance of autopsies in HID patients. A Biosafety Level 3 autopsy room was available in eight (16.6 %) facilities, other technical devices for safe autopsies were available in nine (18.7 %). Overall, four facilities (8.3 %) reported to have all features explored for the safe management of human remains. Conversely, in five (10.4 %) none of these features were available. Conclusions: The level of preparedness of surveyed isolation facilities in the field of post-mortem management in case of HIDs was not satisfactory, and improvements are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfection
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Aug 13 2015

Keywords

  • Autopsy
  • Biosafety
  • Highly infectious diseases
  • Hygiene
  • Infection control
  • Isolation facilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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