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When Protocols Become Fairy Tales and Gods Remain Buried Under: Excerpts From the Diary of Forensic Experts at Ground Zero During the Mega Quake That Hit Nepal

Acharya, Jenash MD; Shrestha, Rijen MD; Shrestha, Pramod Kumar MD; Kanchan, Tanuj MD; Krishan, Kewal PhD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2017 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - p 5–8
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000279
Case Reports

More than a year has passed since the mega quake hit Nepal. Although a lot is written about the lacunae in disaster preparedness, lessons learnt, and public health concerns after the aftermath, nothing much has been written about the fate of the deceased. Although saving takes priority after a disaster, the management of dead bodies also requires immediate attention because the process of identification becomes more difficult and expensive as time passes. This article shares the firsthand experiences of forensic experts at ground zero during the quake that may be useful to forensic experts responsible for handling such situations worldwide.

From the *Department of Forensic Medicine, Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital; and †Department of Forensic Medicine, Maharajgunj Medical Campus, Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal; and ‡Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur; and §Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.

Manuscript received August 14, 2016; accepted September 14, 2016.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Jenash Acharya, MD, Department of Forensic Medicine, Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal. E-mail:

© 2017 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.