Many people in the death investigation and mortuary fields are asking questions about protocols for human remains with possible Ebola infections. Although it is highly unlikely that those in death investigation in Kentucky will encounter any such cases, we wanted to inform interested parties of the latest information from the CDC. For further information, please see CDC recommendations:
Safe Handling of Human Remains
Recognized as national leaders in their respective fields, the scientific staff members of the Kentucky Office of the Medical Examiner assist Kentucky coroners and law enforcement agencies in all aspects of death investigation. Central to the role of the office is the performance of the forensic autopsy, to aid in the determination of cause and manner of death of individuals, and identification of the deceased.
Forensic pathologists annually conduct around 2,500 forensic autopsy examinations at the four regional offices, located in Louisville, Frankfort, Ft. Thomas, and Madisonville.
Forensic pathologists are medical doctors who have undertaken at least 5 years of post-graduate training to become proficient in the subspecialty of forensic pathology.
A forensic pathologist is available to coroners for consultation 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Post-mortem examinations are conducted around the state 365 days a year. The mission statement of the Kentucky Medical Examiners Office is to serve the public by:
providing accurate, thorough, and efficient medicolegal investigations of death, thereby
ensuring justice, and
providing solace, comfort, and protection to the living.
More information about forensic pathology and death investigation may be found at www.aafs.org and www.thename.org.
Information regarding Kentucky Coroners and the Kentucky Coroners Association may be found at www.coroners.ky.gov.
In 2016, the Medical Examiner Division performed services for about 2,835 deaths. A detailed summary of the case distribution is delineated in this report. It should be noted that this annual report does not include all deaths occurring in Kentucky, but rather those cases investigated but the Kentucky Medical Examiner Program:
Office of the State Medical Examiner 2016 Calendar Year Annual Report
In 2012, the Medical Examiner Division performed services for approximately 2,402 deaths. A detailed summary of the case distribution is delineated in this report:
Information for Families
Information for Families, a brochure developed by the Kentucky Medical Examiners Office, helps answer questions about the autopsy process and the role of the Medical Examiner.