How the body is prepared for the last journey and where what is left of it is used

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(ORDO NEWS) — To prepare the body for burial or cremation, funeral workers drain blood and interstitial fluids and replace them with an embalming solution, usually containing formaldehyde and methanol.

What do they do with blood? Are they just dumped down the drain? Today we will tell you in detail about how to prepare the body for burial. For example, about the preparation of the face and the bactericidal treatment of tissues.

How to prepare the body for burial: work with the face

The muscles of the deceased relax, so even if the eyes were closed immediately after death, there is a chance that they will open. There are frequent cases of sagging eyelids. To prevent these problems, the morgue is not only a mechanical way.

In past centuries, coins were placed on the eyes of the deceased for this purpose. Also, specialists often resort to tamponing of the face or to the use of plastic tabs. So, to fix the jaw, the hyoid bone is plugged. This preparation of the body for burial is aimed at giving the deceased a more natural look.

Preparing the body for burial: what is done with the blood of the deceased

Yes, the blood is simply poured into the sewer.

How exactly is the body prepared for burial? The embalming machine injects embalming fluid through the arterial system, which pushes the blood out.

At this time, the body is vigorously massaged with a damp sponge to facilitate drainage and distribution of fluid. Even without the embalming process, most of the blood is drained during the autopsy.

Forensic scientist Zoe-Anne Barcellos, answering a question about how the body is prepared for burial, told Mental Flossthat the autopsy of the deceased is carried out over a drain located in the floor. Blood and other bodily fluids simply drip down the table and into the sewer.

How the body is prepared for the last journey and where what is left of it is used 2

Placing the body in a coffin is a separate point in preparing the body for burial. The limbs need to be straightened, but sometimes even minor curvature of the spine can interfere with this process.

The fact is that the shortening and drying of the tendons prevent extension. After the body is placed in a coffin in a natural position, the hands and head are fixed

However, according to Barcellos, things that are stained with blood cannot simply be thrown into the trash after the preparation of the body for burial is completed.

If these are the clothes of the deceased, they are transferred to the funeral home or left as evidence. If these are medical consumables (gauze, cotton wool and tubes), then they are marked as biohazardous waste.

Why not donate blood to the hospital? This is hindered not only by public opinion, but by the difficulty in extracting it.

Since the heart of the deceased is not beating, doctors cannot simply stick a syringe into a vein and wait for it to fill up. An embalming machine should not be used in preparing the body for burial, as it is likely to lead to blood poisoning.

An important part of preparing the body for burial: disinfection

Treatment of the body with a bactericidal composition is a necessary step in preparing the body for burial. As soon as oxygen stops flowing to human tissues, the process of decomposition begins. In this case, it is worth considering the current state of the body.

If there are wounds, cuts, ulcers, inflammations on it, then the decomposition process only accelerates. The body treated with a bactericidal composition also prevents the development of infection and the formation of cadaveric spots.


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