Embalming A to Z: Addison's Disease

Date Published: 
January, 2004
Original Author: 
Todd Van Beck
A S Turner and Sons, Decatur, Georgia
Original Publication: 
ICFM Magazine, January 2004

Addison's Disease is characterized by degeneration of the suprarenal capsules and a resultant bronze pigmentation of the skin. The change in the suprarenals is generally found to be tuberculous. In the latter stages of life we usually find anemia, general languor, feeble heart action, irritated stomach, diarrhea, rheumatic pains in loins and abdomen, and sub-normal temperature.

Above everything else we should thoroughly massage the skin with a quality massage cream to remove all the superficial discoloration possible and then thoroughly wash the circulatory system with pre-injection solutions of 4 to 6 ounce strength per half gallon of water.  It may be necessary to use a gallon or more of the pre-injection solution before starting arterial fluid injection.

Make fluid solution low in strength, but use an unusual volume. If these cases were to receive fluid injection over a period of several hours, even using a gravity system of injection or keeping the electric injector percolator as low as possible to send fluid into the body very, very slowly, the results will undoubtedly be far more satisfactory.  Thorough massaging with massage cream, thorough capillary wash, with co-injection and low-strength arterial fluid injected over a long period of time, is recommended for these cases. Cavities should be aspirated and treated with full-strength cavity fluid.

As far as I know this discoloration cannot be removed, but the above treatment will not exacerbate the problem, and after treatment, cosmetics may be satisfactorily applied.