The role of mobile computed tomography in mass fatality incidents

Guy N Rutty, Claire E Robinson, Ralph BouHaidar, Amanda J Jeffery, Bruno Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mobile multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scanners are potentially available to temporary mortuaries and can be operational within 20 min of arrival. We describe, to our knowledge, the first use of mobile MDCT for a mass fatality incident. A mobile MDCT scanner attended the disaster mortuary after a five vehicle road traffic incident. Five out of six bodies were successfully imaged by MDCT in c. 15 min per body. Subsequent full radiological analysis took c. 1 h per case. The results were compared to the autopsy examinations. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of imaging with mobile MDCT in relation to mass fatality work, illustrating the body pathway process, and its role in the identification of the pathology, personal effects, and health and safety hazards. We propose that the adoption of a single modality of mobile MDCT could replace the current use of multiple radiological sources within a mass fatality mortuary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-9
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Humans
  • Mass Casualty Incidents
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Whole Body Imaging
  • Wounds and Injuries


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