June 2020

Page A16 JUNE 2020 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS S ec t i on A By Matt Black Embalming Tips & Tools The Challenges of Embalming (Continued) We first must look at case analysis. All embalming starts here. A key area that seems to be almost forgot- ten is the disinfection stage. Once the transfer has taken place, treat the body with a topical disinfectant. ALWAYS remember that prior to moving the body from the place of death, the mouth area should be covered and the mouth and nose treated with topical disinfectant. This protocol is for the safety of the transfer team. The risk of TB being spread through the air by infectious aerosols is possi- ble. John Hopkins Medical Institute published an ar- ticle January 26, 2000 about a mortician becoming in- fected with TB from a cadaver. (hopkinsmedicine.org, Baltimore City Health Dept., CDC, and National In- stitute of Health) No one wants to be breathing in the same air that is passing out of the deceased’s lungs as you position and move them. I like to position the body on body rest positioners if possible. These body positioners will reduce the pres- sure points caused by placing the body directly on a table. I also use another technique, the Semi-Fowler position. This will help to aid in distribution and al- low for cleanup. Remember to always aim for three levels—head highest level, chest medium level and feet the lowest level. Keep the head up, elevate the hands, and slightly tilt the table. Common practice is to set the features and treat the eye, nose, and mouth with high level disinfectant spray at this point. A popular technique is to flush the nasal passage and the back of throat with warm water. This an earlobe. We see this same unnatural appearance of the earlobe due to gravity – when patients have been hospitalized for a long time or bed-ridden. The ear lobe droops towards the rear. Edema caused by pres- sure from a pillow or severe gross edema will affect the ear lobe as well. It is advantageous to correct the abnormal issue with the earlobe prior to embalming. If we do not, the em- balming process will fixate the tissue, resulting in a noticeable distortion. A simple way to straighten the earlobe is to apply Kaloform or Kalip to webril or cot- ton and place this behind the ear lobes. Changes may be made post embalming, but it’s normally more dif- ficult and less likely to look natural in appearance. will help to flush blood and mucous that if left untreated can cause odor problems. Afterwards a reapplication of high-level disinfectant spray to this area is recommended. Another popular technique is to pack the back of the throat with webril saturated with a high-level disinfec- tant spray, then with dry webril. The nose and throat may be sealed using mastic compound, webril and absorbent powder after you have completed your embalming. If purge is expected I usually do a temporary mouth closure and treat these areas after embalming. Allow the body to purge, just remember to cover the face with mas- sage cream or Humectant arterial solution spray. This will help with purge from the stomach that could have acid. An area frequently overlooked prior to embalming is the ears. Correcting un-natural issues prior to embalm- ing, will result in less work later. Earlobes are made of skin and fatty tissue. Earlobes are strong and flexible, un- like rest of your ear that is cartilage. Earlobes can be ei- ther attached or detached. This is a genetic, not a health or appearance issue. [Some earlobe trivia: your earlobes never stop growing, but by the time you are 9 years old your ears are 90% of their full size. Gravity will cause your earlobes to elongate over time. The world’s longest ear lobes are a whopping 5 inches.] At some point we all encounter un-natural appearing ears. These un-natural conditions can result from illness, trauma, emaciation, and edema, but death and gravity are frequent causes of an unnatural appearing ear. The time lapse between death and embalming, combined with the effects of refrigeration and gravity, play havoc on Matt Black has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Pennsylvania for over 20 years. He represents The Dodge Company in Central and Western Pennsylvania. In addi- tion to being a graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortu- ary Science, Matt also holds degrees in Bio-Medical Engineering Technology and Industrial Management. Matt has also attended the Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills, Springfield, MO, and is licensed in eye and corneal enucleation. He has presented at Dodge Embalming Seminars as well as numer- ous local seminars in Pennsylvania. He can be reached by email at mblack@Dodgeco.com. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.nomispublications.com Monthly Columns online at Market Research by MKJ Marketing Volume down and you don’t knowwhy? © 2020 MKJ Marketing 1-888-MKJ-1566 www.mkjmarketing.com Glenn Gould CEO, MKJ Marketing Bay Memorials 321 S. 15 th St. • Escanaba, MI 49829 • (906) 786-2609 • Fax (906) 786-2692 Zerbel’s www.baymemorialsbabycaskets.com PROPORTIONALLY SIZED FOR MISCARRIED, STILLBORN & NEWBORN BABIES Burial Cradle caskets SM Available in 10”, 20”, 30” allowing you to tastefully care for even the smallest baby with all the compassion every parent desires for as low as $46.00 EDWARDSVILLE, IL - (R to L) Michael D. Weber, W. Edward Rodney, Brandon M. Rodney, and Chelsea L. Pottorff of Weber and Rodney Funeral Home are shown taking delivery of their new Cadillac Heritage Hearse, built and sold by (R) John Muster of Muster Coaches. 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