Formaldehyde is a chemical used in embalming. It is mainly used to slow down the decomposition process and restore a more natural look by coagulating proteins in muscles, which makes the skin more elastic.
Another factor is location. Where the body was buried, you can either speed up the decomposition or allow the body to decompose on its own. Placing the body in a mausoleum exposes it to heat in the summer, which speeds up the decomposition. Waterproof boxes will keep everything aside, allowing the body to disintegrate into its own.
How do embalming the body?
Before the procedure itself, a series of measures are carried out aimed at eliminating external defects. Treatment of the surface layer of the skin with disinfectants (liquid antiseptics, aerosols), washing the hair with warm water with a bactericidal soap or shampoo.
In the presence of dandruff – repeated washing of the hair, with hair loss – soaking the roots and tips with a towel.
Shaving on different parts of the body occurs in consultation with the relatives of the deceased, if necessary. After the preparatory process, the pathologist refers to the following embalming methods.
Body embalming methods
- Arterial method – the introduction of preservatives through the arterial vessels without opening the corpse. Places of an introduction of preservatives – large vessels (aorta, carotid, and femoral artery). Often used in connection with the religion of Buddhists, Krishna. During the infusion of a soluble substance into an artery, it is necessary to monitor the face so that it does not swell, does not become asymmetric. If at the same time the eyelids rise and the mouth opens, it is required to turn the head in the direction of greater asymmetry. In this way, the carotid arteries are fixed, and the embalming solution spreads evenly.
- Cavity method (puncture, incision method) – specialists resort to this method with uncertainty about the preservation of the body after vascular embalming. Indications are vascular sclerosis, third and fourth-degree obesity, postponement of the date of burial for long-term preservation of the body.
- Injection method – is optional, is used when introducing minimal doses of the solution for preservation.
- Superficial method – used for depletion of intact skin with arterial blood, as well as during exposure to temperature factors on the epidermis. The corpse is completely placed in the tank, resembling a bath, with the presence of condensate.
- Cryo-embalming is the fixation of body structures by freezing. The body is cooled using cryoprotectants (drugs) to a temperature of -196 ° and placed in a cryostat (large thermos) with liquid nitrogen.
Body embalming solutions
The most common for fixing the external signs of a corpse and obtaining anatomical material are capacitors:
- Ethyl alcohol – if its concentration ranges from 40-90 °, then it is considered a high bactericidal substance that easily passes through arterioles, venules, capillaries. Keeps the natural color of the skin, mucous membranes, internal organs. And if up to 40 °, then alcohol is combined with formalin or with drugs that have a higher bactericidal property.
- Formalin – is characterized by some functions: low toxicity, compacts, and preserves protein, low cost, and ease of transportation. When processing a solution of 10-15% formalin, the body dries quickly and mummifies. When fixing the dead with strong solutions (15-20%), a film is formed on the body, which prevents the substance from penetrating the deeper layers of the skin, which leads to internal rotting of the organs. Also, skin color can change its color when in contact with formalin, for example, muscles become dirty brown (when hemoglobin transitions to a pathological form – methemoglobin), a grayish tint is given due to protein precipitation. Cons: toxic, sharp smell.
- Glycerin is a good carrier of chemicals that increase their properties. Does not dry the skin, retains moisture in the tissues and prevents the appearance of dead spots.
- Glutaraldehyde is a bactericidal, tanning, disinfectant, less toxic than formalin. Removes a small amount of fluid from tissues during a biochemical reaction with proteins.
As for the question of how many solutions work, the time and strength of the action of drugs depend on the concentration and natural properties of the substance.
Embalming the body in the morgue
Morgue – pathoanatomical department, where the autopsy, storage, recognition of corpses and embalming. Embalming the body in the morgue is carried out by one of the above methods using preservative substances. Relatives have issued a death statement – you need to present a document in the registry that confirms the identity of the deceased. Do I need to get help when embalming? Yes, it happens to hold a civil memorial service, a funeral service in the church.
Embalming the body at home is carried out using a cavity technique, and 1a 0% formalin solution is injected into the deceased. Swabbed upper respiratory tract to avoid secretions of body fluids. On the face impose a special makeup. Duration of body preservation is 4 days.
How much does body embalming cost?
The price is determined by the individual rates of the morgue or the ritual agency, depending on the quantity and quality of services provided.