20 November 2010

Let the bodies hit the floor...

**another old post that i forgot to publish the day that this actually transpired. stupid brain**

I am really excited that I get to go on a body run....

Body run? Well, that is to say, make the trip to the go pick the cases we work on for the day's lab.

Large refrigerators. Bodies everywhere. The smell of advanced decomp - wow. Even with refrigeration, the smell was so overwhelming and unlike anything I've ever experienced before. Granted, these cases (P.A.) have been in there for quite some time; remember that our cases have been deceased anywhere between 2-8 weeks (the norm was closer to 5 or 6 weeks) - unlike working in a mortuary where the cases are relatively "fresh" in being more recently deceased (few hours to a couple days or so). And yes, that makes a big difference!

Because these remains have been deceased for so long, it affects what we do in lab -from washing the body (skin slip) to raising the vessels (fragile arteries, hard to find arteries), choosing the fluids & the results of distribution/lack thereof. We get to be more creative*, perhaps. (*I say that without having any experience in a mortuary).

Anyhow, it was a real eye opener to see so many identified, unclaimed deceased remains all in one place. It was kinda sad that these people didn't have anyone to claim them as their family. Or, for whatever the reason, they've lost contact with their loved ones and now in death, don't have someone to claim them. At least we (students) have the opportunity to show them some respect, even if they are only going to be cremated. Without our cases, we wouldn't be able to learn from them. I'm sure we'd have some other way to facilitate learning how to embalm, but I kinda like that we get the outcasts and unclaimed. It has made me appreciate my family more and I'm sure I'll appreciate my future position as an apprentice working on fresher cases.

Ok, back to studying...

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