Primary Identification Methods and their Effectiveness in Mass Disaster Situations: A Literature Review

Naiara M. Gaglietti, Ricardo H. A. Silva


Mass disasters generally result in an elevated number of casualties that need identification. The primary identification methods listed by INTERPOL (DNA, fingerprint and forensic dentistry) have a very important role in helping and speeding up the victim identification process. The present study sought to report mass destruction cases found in the literature published from 2005 to 2015 that have used the primary human identification methods. This study has been done as a literature review using the keywords: disasters, natural disasters, disaster victims, and human identification in a total of 16 selected papers and 13 listed disasters. It has been concluded that the primary identification methods are capable and efficient to perform a safe and satisfactory identification of mass disasters victims, used both separately or in combination.


Forensic Sciences, Forensic Anthropology, Mass Disaster, Victims, Identification.

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