VIFM PREPAREDNESS FOR COVID-19
24th July, 2020
The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine is responsible for a wide range of forensic medicine and science services. We provide the criminal justice system with clinical medical services including the examination and testing of both victims of crime and alleged perpetrators. Today these clinical services have to take into account the hazards of managing patients who maybe or are positive for COVID19. While our forensic pathology service investigates deaths reported to the Coroner the VIFM also has state-wide responsibility to support and coordinating the management and storage of deceased persons who have died as a result of non-Coroner’s deaths including those associated with epidemics and pandemics.
The VIFM, as an independent statutory authority supports the Department of Justice and Community Safety, the Health Department, and Emergency Management Victoria by coordinating the State Fatality Management Plan and providing high level consultancy in mortuary management to public and private providers. This plan is implemented in circumstances when large numbers of fatalities occur. The VIFM has a team of specialist medical practitioners, nurses, mortuary, scientific and technical staff, with experience and training in infectious body management, who are ready to be deployed as required.
We have a long history of providing body management services around the world in response to mass fatality events including MH17 and natural disease outbreaks such as Ebola in Africa. We use personal protective equipment to manage bodies in the context of disease outbreaks and in hazardous environments including those related to infectious pandemics.
As the agency tasked with managing deceased persons in a major disaster (including pandemics) the VIFM has the plans needed to facilitate culturally sensitive body transport and storage and to do so in a way that provides safe containment of potentially infected deceased persons so as to ensure community safety.
Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
Who We Are
The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) is Australia’s largest multi-disciplinary centre for forensic medical and scientific services. Our specialist medico-legal investigators support the maintenance of a safe and just Victoria by working in partnership with a range of justice agencies to provide critical forensic evidence to our courts and tribunals.