Dealing with the deceased who are contaminated with Ebola presents a range of challenges. Flexmort was Winner of the Big Ideas Award for our innovative systems at The University of Warwick U.K, and we provide a range of solutions for the safe handling and storage of the deceased which are all in widespread use by U.K. NHS hospitals, Councils, Governments and the Police and across the world. Many of the Flexmort products are already in general use throughout hospitals and other mortuary facilities. Please contact us directly if you are based in the UK as all of the below products are manufactured by us (apart from the TC body bag and Flexmort is the exclusive UK supplier for this product). However, we do have distributors in some markets overseas.
There are 4 main issues to consider when dealing with Ebola: 1. Absorbing body fluids 2. Sealing the deceased inside an air tight body bag 3. Cooling the deceased 4. Manual Handling of the deceased. There can also be wider general problems with a higher number of patients including dealing with sanitary products so please see details of our flat packed sanitary bin (Binny Bin) at the bottom of the page which is in widespread use across the U.K.
The UK guidance for dealing with infected deceased can be found in the Management of Hazard Group 4 viral haemorrhagic fevers and similar human infectious diseases of high consequence – Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens Sept 2014 (click here). For dealing with the deceased this guidance (p.81 & p.82) talks of the use of a “leak proof body bag” and states staff “should place the body in a double body bag. Absorbent material should be placed between each bag” and “then placed in a robust coffin, which will need to have sealed joints. It should then be kept, by special prior arrangement with mortuary staff, in a separate and identified cold store unit to await prompt cremation or burial”. The problem is that standard body bags leak (hence the double bagging and coffin guidance). Therefore, U.K. NHS hospitals as well as mortuary facilities overseas are using Flexmort products to comply with these requirements.
1. Absorbing Body Fluids – CadPads
Flexmort’s CadPads are highly absorbent and can absorb a considerable amount of body fluids without dripping. They are in use within UK NHS hospitals and are undoubtedly the world’s most highly effective and absorbent mortuary pads.
The fluid is locked away inside and does not leak or drip even under pressure. Furthermore, the core material used in CadPads is scientifically proven to reduce bacteria as the CadPad system removes the water which bacteria require to proliferate. Traditional absorbent pads stay wet and often drip particularly when being carried from the spill area to the bin/trash can which produces significant infection risk.
CadPads are perfect for absorbing the body fluids of deceased infected with Ebola as the virus remains locked away.
2. Containing infected Deceased
There are three products for sealing the deceased, a first response body bag (TC body bag) as well as two higher specification body bags (CadSeal and CBRN Gas Tight body bag). Standard body bags are simply not capable of preventing the spread of infections such as Ebola.
i) TC Body Bag – First Responder Use
This body bag is for first responders at the scene of the deceased and Flexmort is the UK exclusive supplier. Traditional body bags do not have air-tight zips unless they are high performance gas tight body bags and can often leak which clearly produces a significant infection risk. The TC bag is a translucent, self-sealing containment device for the deceased and does not rely on zips and therefore seals the body eliminating these issues. Each bag comes lined with a proprietary adhesive formula that will not stick to any surface other than itself, making it perfectly safe around the deceased. By eliminating zips, the sealing system is of much higher performance than the traditional zipped body bag for the initial storage of Ebola infected remains and the first deceased infected within the US were placed into the TC body bag.
ii) CadSeal – Hospital/Mortuary Use as electrical socket required for the heat sealer
CadSeal is a very robust yet flexible metal foil and is in place within many U.K. NHS hospitals as well as funeral directors and can be used to seal up the deceased who are contaminated with Ebola. CadSeal meets and exceeds the U.K. guidance for the containment of Ebola infected deceased and takes up very little storage space as comes on a roll. It eliminates the need for “double bagging” and the use of a “robust coffin.” The CadSeal system has a proven history of containment and is in use within most U.K. repatriation firms and has replaced the traditional system of zinc lined coffins for repatriations. CadSeal is fully approved by the airline industry for the repatriation of the deceased and is detailed in the IATA Airport Handling Manual, AHM 333 (Jan 2011). The deceased are placed within the foil envelope and a simple heat sealer is used (which requires an electrical power supply) to seal the foil thereby producing an air tight body bag which is very strong and can even withstand aeroplane altitude pressures. The deceased can be simply placed directly into the foil along with a CadPad for absorption.
iii) CBRN Gas Tight Body Bag – Field or Hospital use
The CadSeal system meets all U.K. standards for the storage of the deceased infected with Ebola. However, some countries may wish for a higher standard of protection and the Flexmort CBRN Gas Tight Body Bag provides this.
The Gas Tight Body Bag is designed to hold human remains, which may be contaminated by a wide variety of chemical substances, biological organisms, nuclear particulates or warfare agents, while providing protection to the personnel who handle it. It is available in standard size and bariatric (obese) sizes.
The body bag is constructed from CoreTech Pro, which has barrier protection against Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TIC’s), Chemical Warfare Agents (CWA’s), biological and nuclear hazards. The body bag is strong and easy to handle under demanding conditions.
3. Body Storage
Under the UK Guidance, the contaminated deceased, “Should then be kept, by special prior arrangement with mortuary staff, in a separate and identified cold store unit to await prompt cremation or burial.” (p.81). Flexmort manufactures a range of mobile pop up mortuary systems. For Ebola, the recommended units are the AirCool12 and the Mortuary Dome. The deceased are usually placed in any of the above body storage sealing systems and then placed into the mobile mortuary cooling unit.
i) The AirCool12
The AirCool12 is a mobile mortuary which highly portable. It is in use throughout U.K. NHS hospitals, funeral directors, Councils etc as well as across the globe and developed with U.K. hospital Mortuary Managers as well as the Police and DVI teams. The system is set up within 25 mins and requires very little training. The racking used within the system was developed as a result of the difficulties encountered with traditional flat packed mortuary racking. The mobile mortuary system provides fast storage for 12 deceased.
ii) The Mortuary Dome
Flexmort’s Mass Fatality Mobile Mortuary Dome uses Captive Air Technology and is the most simple, effective system to provide instant temporary mobile mortuary refrigerated space for body storage for mass fatality situations anywhere in the world from a relatively small transit pack. The Mobile Mortuary Dome is 6m x 7m and can contain 56 bodies on the Flexmort mobile mortuary racking (which is in use across numerous NHS hospital sites and overseas).
4. Manual Handling of the Deceased
Binny Bin Disposable Sanitary Bins
Although this has not got anything to do with the deceased. We are also the manufacturer of Binny Bin, a disposable sanitary bin and this product is ideal for where humanitarian relief is required. Binny Bin is a flat packed, lightweight disposable sanitary bin and contains world leading anti-bacterial and malodour properties. Binny disposable sanitary bins are used extensively within the UK NHS hospitals as well as numerous offices, shops and schools. Please see our sister site at www.binnybin.com for further information.