LHSC requires mobile unit to store bodies as death toll reaches 112 in Middlesex-London

University Hospital in London Ont. Dec. 3, 2020. Justin Walters-Stutt

The morgue at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) has had to utilize a mobile refrigerated trailer to store bodies after reaching capacity.

The Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PaLM) program at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is the regional forensic pathology unit for southwestern Ontario and can hold up to 28 bodies.

“The use of an alternative body holding solution by LHSC is a temporary measure that has been implemented specifically to allow for continued support of the needs of our patients and their families, the regional coroners’ office and Ontario’s death investigation system,” said Glen Kearns, integrated vice president of diagnostics services and chief information officer, in a statement.

Read more: Coronavirus: Ontario hospital staff bracing for COVID-19 surge due to holiday rule-breakers

PaLM also provides forensic autopsy support to the regional coroners’ office and Ontario’s death investigation system, as well as hospital autopsy services when necessary.

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Kearns said because of new processes implemented for the pandemic, the time needed for securing appropriate arrangements has increased and resulted in the need to bring in the additional storage.

LHSC officials say this is the second time during the pandemic that they have had to use the mobile service to store bodies.

“We expect the capacity challenge to be resolved within days,” Kearns said.

As of Tuesday, at least 112 people have died from the novel coronavirus in the Middlesex-London region, an increase of four from the day before.

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