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The Morgue Bureau

The Morgue Bureau was established in 1955 when the Medical Examiner Department began operation. It started as a very limited facility with space to handle only a few cases. Since then, the Morgue Bureau has evolved to become a world-renowned, state-of-the-art forensic morgue bureau, serving the Miami-Dade Community.

The Morgue Bureau is located on the ground floor beneath the Toxicology Laboratory. The 23,000 square foot facility contains three autopsy suites. First there is a teaching autopsy room in which classes are able to observe an autopsy. Then there is the main morgue itself with twelve autopsy stations. In a separate building directly behind the morgue is the "decomp" morgue building with two more work stations. The "decomp" morgue handles cases where bodies have undergone decomposition or where bodies are known to have infectious diseases such as tuberculosis or hepatitis. Thus the morgue has a total of fifteen separate autopsy stations.

Bodies received into the morgue need to be stored in refrigerated rooms called "coolers" both before and after autopsies. The main morgue has four coolers with a capacity of 120 bodies in each, and the decomp morgue has its own cooler, capable of handling 75 more bodies, and giving the morgue a capacity of holding 555 bodies. The building's original planned allowed for this number, based on the capacity of a 747 jumbo jet.

The Morgue has a number of other rooms, including an anthropology lab, a drying room, a gross specimen storage room, two X-ray rooms, a supply area, an employee lounge, a security station, and doctor dictation suites.

The Morgue staff currently includes one supervisor, five senior forensic technicians, five forensic technicians and one forensic material specialist. The staff work closely with the doctors to fulfill their primary role: conducting forensic autopsies. The forensic technicians work side by side with the pathologists seven days a week in this procedure. They also are responsible for processing X-rays, finger-printing and evidence, helping with photography and scene assistance, and assisting funeral homes. Throughout its history, the Morgue Bureau has served law enforcement, funeral homes and schools, becoming a training and research center for forensic scientists from all over the world.

The Morgue Bureau supervisor can be reached by contacting 305-545-2400 or by email to Morgue Supervisor for further information.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:00:12 PM

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