OF THE TRADE”
“Tricks of the Trade” will be a monthly feature here at snydersembalming.com. Each month we will look at a helpful hint designed to help you, the mortuary professional. Click here for prior tips. If you would like to submit a tip, send it to email@example.com
This month, we have two tips for you, courtesy of embalmer David Finch of Bobbitt's Mortuary in San Bernardino:
Dealing With Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is a term to describe the dead skin and oil mixed in the hair and clinging to the scalp of a person. Oftentimes, when someone has been in the hospital or a convalescent home for a long time, there is a chance of their hygiene being neglected, resulting in a case of cradle cap. Shampooing usually doesn't work to remove this stubborn substance. However, there is a very good remedy for this condition. Using a co-injection chemical to rinse the scalp usually melts the problem away without damaging the hair or scalp. A co-injection chemical such as Pierce Chemical's "One-Point" (which is the best for this) or Dodge Chemical's "Metaflow" works very well to dissolve the build-up on the scalp. After one or two applications, shampoo and rinse as normal.
The Carotid Incision
An incision on the carotid artery is often quite visible because of the open-collar shirts and blouses in which decedents may be dressed. Therefore, a proper closure is critical. This is especially true for those in trade embalming - - you really cannot afford to do it improperly the first time.
Everyone who has embalmed has
used the autopsy needle and ligature to sew the incision on the neck. The large
holes and absorbent string, accompanied by the Quick-Seel" powder, often turn
the incision area into a dehydrated, discolored area "hat resembles beef jerky
occurs, your only hope is that the family has
brought clothing with a high
collar). A sure-fire way to avoid this bad outcome is to substitute
Dodge's "Inr-Seel" clay sealing compound (also known as peanut butter) for the
"Quick-Seel" powder; using dental floss and a small "C" shaped needle keeps the
incision tight, without ripping large, dehydrating holes in the tissue. The
moist, and you can work large amounts into the open incision and reshape the area after it is closed. This method will neither dry out the incision, nor will it leak. The need for the glue and cotton is removed, and the incision is easily hid with lip wax, if the collar is open.
A further benefit of this method is that even if the jugular vein is unligated, the clay compresses the vessels enough to prevent leaking. I have NEVER had this method of incision closure leak on me.
Previously posted tips:
DRESSING A CASE
19TH CENTURY TIPS
DEALING WITH AN OSTOMY BAG
A BETTER WAY TO CLOSE A POSTED CASE
GETTING SUFFICIENT FLUID TO THE HANDS
DEALING WITH TISSUE GAS
DEALING WITH SLIPPERINESS
SAFE HANDLING OF HUMAN REMAINS OF SARS PATIENTS
PROPER SHAMPOO AND HAIR CARE METHODS
"BLOW-OUT PATCH" METHOD
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