- Death & Loss of Life
What Happens in Body Embalming?
What is an Embalming?
There is not much information on the web today regarding the embalming process of a body. Frankly, its not the most pleasant subject to talk about however, when people face a loss and death of a loved one, this information can be very valuable.
So why is embalming necessary for the deceased? When people choose to bury a loved one as opposed to cremation, the body is normally embalmed prior to burial. This is especially important when there will be a viewing or wake prior to the service. A wake is when the family members and perhaps a few close friends gather to view the body in the casket. Generally, there is a short prayer ceremony that also occurs during the viewing day. Catholic funeral services often include a wake a few days or the day before a funeral service. Although embalming
is not required by law it is performed on a large
percentage of bodies that will be buried.
Embalming is quite an old technique. This is a method of perservation that dates back to the Egyptians. It is a means to slow down the decomposition of the body. In the event bereaved family members want time to view the body before burial, embalming keeps the body from further decomposition.
The embalming process is considered to be rather simple if the death was from natural causes and not from an accident which may have caused disfiguration.
Embalming involves removing and replacing the body's blood with a solution that preserves the body and slows down the decomposition. Preservative chemicals are injecting into the body's arterial system and the blood and fluids drained from the venous system.
Instruments are used to pierce the
internal organs and preservative chemicals are injected into the body's
cavity to delay decomposition. The body's protein is converted from a liquid into a gel state which prevents bacteria
from growing and further slowing down the process of decomposition.
If an autopsy needs to be performed, vital organs are removed and immersed in the embalming fluid and then replaced in the body by a preservative substance or powder.
Once this procedure is completed, the embalmer will dress the body and apply makeup or cosmetics that are appropriate for the age and gender. At times, cosmetics are used to
restore or rebuild certain physical features, if slight disfiguration has occured.
The embalming process is performed by a licensed professional which can be either a funeral director or a licensed embalmer. It is necessary to embalm a body, if it needs to be transported to another state or the deceased has died from a contagious disease. The process of refrigeration can also be used to hold the body in a process state for a few days. This method is usually more cost effective than embalming.
If you the body will be moved to another state for a funeral or burial, its best to check with a memorial funeral home or funeral society to see if there are any state regulations regarding embalming.
Because there is not much information on the
internet today, for someone to understand the process of embalming, it is good to get an idea of what the procedure consists of. Embalming could eventually be done to most of us or someone we love.
Normally during an embalming process, the family is not present so you do not actually view an embalming of a loved one. Most people do not have a desire to view this process, so it is done privately by a licensed professional.
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