Tools Used in Mortuaries

Written by jeremy fisk
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Tools Used in Mortuaries
Corpses require identification and preparation before disposal. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Whether at a hospital or a funeral home, a mortuary performs specific functions. Pathologists and morticians require specific tools to identify a corpse, determine the circumstances of death and conduct funeral rites. Many of the tools are very similar or identical to tools that surgeons use.

Hemostats and Tissue Clamps

Morticians, also called funeral directors and undertakers, and pathologists, who are biological or medical scientists who specialise in diagnosing human disease, use hemostats and tissue clamps to clamp blood vessels and control bleeding while performing operations on a corpse.

Scissors and Scalpels

A mortician may need to cut a corpse to perform an autopsy. In those cases, surgical and dissection scissors help expose and remove body parts for examination. Scalpels perform similar tasks.

Cosmetic Tools

In a funeral home, a mortician may need to beautify a corpse in order to prepare it for an open-casket funeral or viewing by family and loved ones. Morticians use scissors to cut fingernails, toenails and cuticles. Cotton swabs clean the skin, moisturisers vitalise it and razors shave unwanted hair. Make-up beautifies the corpse's face, combs and gels put hair into place and powders alleviate smells. Morticians may sew a mouth shut with a needle and thread or use a tool called a needle injector to wire the mouth shut. Glue keeps the eyes shut.

Structural Tools

Because death alters the structure of the face, morticians use plastic supports to counter the effects of sunken eyes and other tissue decomposition.

Hygiene and Embalming

Morticians wash corpses with disinfectant chemicals and inject formaldehyde into the arteries to preserve the corpse. Alternatively, they may use an aspirator to drain fluid from the body cavities and trocars to create paths along which embalming fluid can enter the corpse. An embalming pump pushes embalming fluid into the body.

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