What are recommended practices for transportation of human remains for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) decedents?

Updated: May 21, 2020
  • Author: Medscape Drugs & Diseases; more...
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Follow standard precautions should transfer of a body of a suspected COVID-19 decedent be necessary.

If splashing of fluids is expected, ensure proper personal protective equipment is available.

Follow standard bagging procedures.

Postmortem care workers should beware of the risk of puncture, tearing, or failure of body bags. Risk factors may include the following:

  • Sharp objects (eg, jewelry, piercings, medical instruments) on the decedent
  • Weight of the decedent
  • Quality of the body bag, considering factors such as degradation over time, storage, or shipment (eg, bag is brittle or broken)

Follow routine transportation protocols after the body has been bagged.

Disinfect the bag with a disinfectant approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Wear disposable nitrile gloves while handling the bag. Ensure the disinfectant meets the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 and is applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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