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NCJ Number: 183298 Find in a Library
Title: Problems in Mass-Disaster Dental Identification: A Retrospective Review
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:44  Issue:1  Dated:January 1999  Pages:123-127
Author(s): Robert B. Brannon M.S.D; Harvey P. Kessler M.S.
Date Published: January 1999
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An analysis of 50 mass disasters focused on the problems that may prevent or hinder a dental-identification team in its effort to identify casualties.
Abstract: The disasters included 10 mass disasters in which the authors had a major role as members of military dental identification teams and 40 disasters discussed in the literature. The authors reviewed, tabulated, and categorized data from official reports from the disasters in which they had participated in dental identification and also took into consideration their own firsthand experience in identifying mass casualties. Dental means identified 79 percent of the 2,416 victims of these disasters. The review of 40 other disasters from 1968-96 covered 29 aircraft accidents, 4 land-based fires, a variety of boat mishaps, two oil-rig disasters, and a flash floods. External problems over which the dental identification team usually had no control included fragmented dental remains, inadequate dental records, and administrative problems such as jurisdictional influences of foreign governments. Internal problems included the psychological stress of the dental team, the use of inexperienced dentists in charge of the dental team, and improvements in esthetic restorative materials. Findings indicated that preparedness is crucial and suggested the need for attention to several specific areas. Table and 48 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Autopsy; Death investigations; Dental analysis; Evidence collection; Evidence preservation; Forensic medicine; Victim identification
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