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What is Embalming Fluid?
Embalming chemicals are a variety of sanitizing, disinfectant, and preservatives agents that are used in embalming process to temporarily prevent decompositions and restore a natural appearance for viewing a body after death and a mixture of these chemicals is known as embalming fluid.
Embalming fluid is basically used to preserve bodies of deceased persons for funeral purpose and in medical research in anatomical laboratories. It contains a mixture of formaldehyde, methanol, glutaraldehyde, and other solvents.
What is the Purpose of Embalming?
The main purpose of embalming is the temporary preservation of the body, restoration or presentation, and sanitation.
Embalming is an aggressive procedure and it involves the injection of a chemical solution into the arteries, tissues and sometimes organs and draining of the deceased’s fluid for slowing decomposition process and restoring the physical appearance of the deceased for cosmetic purpose. Embalming is a complex process that involves several steps:
Laying The Body
During the first step, the deceased is undressed and placed on their back on a mortuary table with the head elevated by a head block.
Checking the Vitals
The next step is most important that involves checking vital signs for preventing burial and embalmers check for clouded corneas, lividity, and rigor mortis and pulse in the carotid or radial artery.
Bathing and Massaging
Embalmers wash the deceased with disinfectant and germicidal solutions while bending, massaging arms and legs, and flexing for relieving rigor mortis.
Setting of the Face
Embalmers will set the feature of the deceased before any incision is made and often use a photo provided by the family or friends to set the eye and mouth. The eyes are posed using an eye-cap that keeps the eye closed and in a natural expression and the mouth is set by wiring the jaw shut and suturing the lips and gums to make them look as relaxed and natural as possible.
When the expression is set, altering embalming begins. It is the process of draining the blood vessels and injecting embalming chemicals into arteries. It’s done by using a centrifugal pump that mimics the beating of the heart and also message the body to break up blood clots, and the blood that’s expelled as the fluid is then sent down the drain and into the sewer.
Cavity embalming involves removing any built-up gas and fluids in the organs with an aspirator and filling them with the embalming chemical.
In this process, fluid is injected into the tissue using a hypodermic needle and syringe to treat those areas where arterial fluid didn’t reach. It’s used on a case by case basis.
Surface Embalming and Washing
It utilizes embalming chemicals to restore surface damage due to decomposition or other epidermal injury and is applied directly to the skin.
Moisturizing and Make-up
In this step, moisturizing cream and make-up is applied to the face and neck of the deceased to mimic a natural completion and hair gel and baby oil is applied to the hair and styled and baby powder is applied to the body to eliminate odors.
- Dressing and Situating for Viewing
For visitation or funeral service the deceased is dressed and placed in the coffin and casket of choice.
These are some important process that embalming involves and for completing this process, typical embalming takes up to one hour to complete.
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