Better Body Bag Project

Improving forensics for the Red Cross
Identifying victims after natural disasters is a challenge. Failing to do so drives cost up and brings distress, trauma and frustration. If we fail, a person is lost (forever). Together with forensic experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross we have developed a better solution. It improves the chances of giving victims of natural disasters their identity back. It delays decomposition, makes identification easier, cheaper and more efficient. Most importantly, it reduces stress and trauma for the survivors, relatives and helpers.


ICRC‘s forensic unit handles approx. 50.000 victims every year. One important task is the identification of the victims. The identification needs to take place within 48 hours, otherwise visual identification is no longer possible. This is particularly challenging in warm climates.


How can we improve the visual identification process in the field?


  1. New body bag design that slows decomposition for up to 72 hours without active cooling.
  2. Easier identity acquisition and management through new data concept and support tools.
“(..) In terms of body bags, recovery and retrieval of dead bodies not much has advanced in decades. It is actually probably the first time humans have thought of applying new technologies to this issue in a major way. I would like to congratulate you because you will make a big difference to a lot of people.”
Robin Coupland / Medical Advisor for the Red Cross