Improving the Management of Unclaimed Bodies in the National Institute of Forensic Medicine, Kuala Lumpur Hospital

  • Poh Soon Lai National Institute of Forensic Medicine (NIFM), Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Siti Rabiyah Othman National Institute of Forensic Medicine (NIFM), Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Hisham Mohd Nordin National Institute of Forensic Medicine (NIFM), Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Lay See Khoo National Institute of Forensic Medicine (NIFM), Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Siti Wira Md Yaro National Institute of Forensic Medicine (NIFM), Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Mohamad Azaini Ibrahim National Institute of Forensic Medicine (NIFM), Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Siew Sheue Feng National Institute of Forensic Medicine (NIFM), Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Ministry of Health Malaysia

Abstract

Proper management of unclaimed bodies in a timely manner could maintain adequate body storage at the mortuary and counteract the medicolegal issue. The verification study in January 2019 to June 2020 revealed that 57.6% of the unclaimed bodies had obtained approval for disposition in more than 28 days. The inadequate of inter-departmental and inter-agency cooperation, and the lack of initiative and monitoring measures by forensic staff, are some of the contributing factors identified. As the outcome-based indicator, the standard was established at 100% for the proportion of unclaimed bodies whose disposition was authorised within 28 days of the body’s receipt date. This quality improvement study involved unclaimed bodies, which were Malaysian and unidentified bodies who had died in the wards of Kuala Lumpur Hospital and had not been claimed by any claimants after more than three days upon arrival at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine. Brought-in-dead post-mortem cases, known foreigner bodies, body parts and foetus were excluded. Remedial actions were implemented in June–December 2020. Forensic Science Officers were assigned to work closely with the supervisor and monitor all the unclaimed bodies using a newly created Excel monitoring matrix. Interdepartmental and inter-agency meetings have been conducted with the support of the Hospital Director. The post-interventional data was gathered from January 2021 through December 2021 with a total of 90 unclaimed bodies, and Cycle 2 was completed from January through September 2022 with 24 unclaimed bodies. After two cycles, we were able to get National Registry Department response rates of 94.1% within 14 days and achieved 89.7% (Cycle 1) and 100% (Cycle 2) for the approval of body disposition within 28 days. The institute plans to further improve the body disposition procedure by working closely with the local authorities to ensure the appointment date of disposition given by them can be expedited. 


 

Published
2023-11-20
How to Cite
LAI, Poh Soon et al. Improving the Management of Unclaimed Bodies in the National Institute of Forensic Medicine, Kuala Lumpur Hospital. Q Bulletin, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 32, p. 46-56, nov. 2023. ISSN 2716-6554. Available at: <https://myjms.mohe.gov.my/index.php/qbulletin/article/view/20069>. Date accessed: 21 july 2024.
Section
Articles

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