As has been made abundantly clear, the poor suffered the most from Hurricane Katrina. One unfortunate side effect of that has been the difficulty in identifying their badly decomposed remains. As the Memphis Business Journal reports:
These are the bodies collected block-by-block as New Orleans was drained of flood waters. FBI forensic specialists were able to identify some victims through fingerprints, but most bodies were too deteriorated. It’s when they moved on to using dental records that they stumbled on a cultural reality: most of the flood victims were poor, and poor people don’t normally go to the dentist; but sometimes they do wind up in a trauma center and leave with a piece of steel or titanium inside.
When medical examiners began removing these implants they noticed an abundance of Smith & Nephew’s starburst logos and set upon a new way of identifying the dead.
“We’re helping the medical examiners identify bodies using the part number and batch number etched onto each implant,” says Carolyn Shelton, manager of Regulatory Compliance at Smith & Nephew.
Link to the article…