Management of bodies of people who died with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (search done: 26 March 2020)

Added June 2, 2020

Citation: Yaacoub S, Schünemann HJ, Khabsa J, et al. Safe management of bodies of deceased persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19: a rapid systematic review. BMJ Global Health 2020; 5(5): e002650

What is this? Strategies to minimise the risk of infection from handling the bodies of people who died with COVID-19 are important for reducing transmission of the virus.

In this rapid review, the authors searched for studies of any design reporting on the efficacy and safety of strategies for minimising the risk of infection from handling the bodies of people who died with a coronavirus infection and for guidance documents on the handling of bodies of deceased persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. They did not restrict their searches by language of publication and did the search on 26 March 2020. They identified one study (low certainty evidence) about autopsies for patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and 23 guidance documents providing practical advice on handling suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 corpses.

What was found: At the time of this review, the effects of different strategies for handling the bodies of people who have died with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are uncertain.

The guidance documents identified which propose specific strategies for handling the bodies of people who have died with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will help policy makers build their own guidance.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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