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Officials at the inauguration of the mortuary. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) has opened a new central mortuary in Al Ain, the public health provider announced on Wednesday. The new facility allows for all services for the deceased to be completed at a single location, with all approvals obtained electronically.

In a statement, Seha said the mortuary will enable the use of virtual autopsies using advanced 3D virtual radiology technology. “Seha is committed to delivering services that meet and exceed the highest international standards across all specialities, in line with the vision and directives of the UAE leadership. With the launch of this new central mortuary in Al Ain, we look forward to working with our strategic partners to ensure adherence to best-practice and world class care, in consideration of the sensitivity and sanctity of the services provided,” said Dr. Marwan Al Kaabi, acting group chief operations officer at Seha. “Both the central morgues in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain are preparing to launch virtual autopsy services, following the implementation of the latest radiology devices,” he added.

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Virtual autopsy

Virtual autopsies allow for non-intrusive human autopsies to be performed with the use of a CT scanner that obtains a full, 3D view of the body. With the use of these radiology technologies, medical examiners can view and dissect the human body in high definition to examine the state of the blood vessels, organs, bones and tissues, and thus to determine the cause of death.

Smooth processing

The process of transferring the deceased’s body via equipped ambulances from the hospital to a central location, and from the mortuary to the cemetery, crematorium, or airport for repatriation, is streamlined and simplified with the use of Seha’a extensive technology infrastructure. This ensures that the process of body preparation or burial is completed within a short period of time, not exceeding 30 minutes. In addition, the issuing of required documentation, such as death certificates or the required paperwork for embalming or cremation, is completed within 15 minutes. There has also been an expansion of preservation refrigerators and cleaning services at all the central mortuaries, allowing for a significant increase in capacity.

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The mortuaries operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including during holidays and official occasions. Image Credit: Supplied

“The central mortuaries in Abu Dhabi are equipped with the most advanced technologies and equipment, and are recognised for their modern services. Equipped with forensic physicians and medical experts who are available round the clock, the mortuaries work in close coordination with the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi Police and the Judicial Department to smoothen the process of body examination and, if required, judicial autopsy,” Dr Al Kaabi added.

Services for all

“Seha’s mortuary teams work with over 200 nationalities and numerous religions, considering their culture and preferences, and ensuring their requirements are met in line with local laws and regulations,” the official said.

The mortuaries operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including during holidays and official occasions, to ensure that the appropriate preservation and movement of deceased bodies is ensured. They provide a wide range of services, including local burial and burning, mummification, and transportation to the deceased’s country of origin, which are all completed within the approved mechanisms and procedures, and always under medical supervision. The mortuaries also provide restoration services, for bodies that have injuries or wounds, ensuring the utmost care, and in line with the deceased’s nationality, religion, or belief.

Health information gathering

As a result of the work done by Seha’s mortuaries, the network is able to collect information and statistics pertaining to different diseases, and the quality and conditions of natural and traumatic deaths, which further contributes to the development of medical policies in the UAE. With information dating back to 1968, Seha is also able to determine the health map of the residents of Abu Dhabi, and the wider nation, to assist with future planning.