This week I received a message from a former student of mine who today is a success in our profession (no thanks to me having been his professor). His message caught my attention and once again I sat in my office asking myself questions about the state of the state of this great profession.
As I have gotten older I have discovered that in my beloved profession there seem to be some taboo subjects, some baffling issues which have dodged honest dialogue for years.
Can we make a quick list? The issue of too many funeral homes is out there floating around; the issue of universal licensing has been out there floating around for a century – no solution; the issue of funeral service organizational fracturing is still floating around; the issue of cremation is still floating around. Well is just seems that there are a lot of issues, ancient issues, still floating around.
This condition, also called icterus, is not a disease, but is a symptom of a disease or condition. Jaundice is one of the most frequent challenges encountered by every embalmer.
Over the years, literally every conceivable concoction, formula, procedure and technique has been studied, developed and implemented to deal with it. There have been some successes and, as with all embalming processes, some cases where things did not work as planned, so embalmers always ask what to do in these cases.
As a matter of course, the location of the wound and parts of the remains punctured by the bullet or charge from the gun will be of greatest importance in determining the degree of difficulty in taking care of these situations.
If the heart is punctured, and the remains not autopsied, it will probably be necessary to do a six-point injection. In modem embalming, instant tissue fixation (otherwise known as "freezing the head") is a preferable method to ensure minimum swelling of the facial features.