Thursday, November 25, 2010

A.M vs P.M

Neither these two refer to 5am in the morning nor 5pm in the evening. But AM for Ante Mortem and PM for Post Mortem:)

We were given lectures about disaster victim management and disaster victim identification and our understandings are strengthened by the practical session on "Forensic and Medicolegal DVI in Mass Disaster" where we were taught how the documentation procedures really goes in practical. It was pretty much an enjoyable practical session as our instructor guided us in a game- like class method. To dr. Yudha Nurhantari, thank you so much for the wonderful teachings:)
AM vs PM

Indonesia follows INTERPOL's procedural system of DVI and there are 4 main procedures:

Phase 1: Scene
Taking place at the location of the event.. Searching for bodies (or body parts), taking photos, do collection and bagging of any documents or significant things, labeling, and yes, mapping of disaster.

Phase 2: Mortuary
This is when post mortem (PM) examinations are done, usually in the hospital's morgue. All the details are recorded in the PM pink form.

Phase 3: Detective
There's no specific term for this phase actually, I made it up as this phase is when the procedures go on as much as what can happen under detective's job: digging details as deep as possible:) This is very important to fill in the ante mortem (AM) data compilation, gathered from family, friends, doctors,dentist, etc.

Phase 4: Reconciliation
Comparing AM to PM. This is when a hot debate may occur especially when there are miss- matching. Primary identification method are dental (under Forensic Odontology), fingerprint, and DNA. Secondary's would includes from the victim's property, photos, and any other documents related. 

Example of AM and PM details: DENTAL FINDING
These two details match to one another.

Phase 5: Release and Debrief
Human remains are released to the families, together with the letter of release. DVI team will compile everything, and report the final document to be filled in; this closes the case.

5 phases and wink~ done. Sounds simple..? But indeed- NO.. Disaster actually brings a truly messy, hectic, and chaotic conditions. It's not just because the identifications are troublesome (severely damaged body, too much body separations that scattering nowhere, etc) but also because of the excessive grieving of families who always want things to be fast and even urge to do things on their own make things even more difficult.. Imagine what more to happen in mass disaster..

Credits: All the photos of AM and PM forms are the courtesy of INTERPOL

  • "Forensic and Medicolegal DVI in Mass Disaster", Practical Session guidelines in BLOCK 4.2 Lab. Manual Book: Health System & Disaster, UGM (Session guided by dr. Yudha Nurhantari, Sp. F, PhD)
  • "Forensic Antropological Roles in Disaster Victim Identification", lecture by Prof. drg. Etty Indriati, Ph. D
  • INTERPOL official website

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