→ High Speed Low Drag - Physical Science & Embalming
As an embalmer, you may be a fan of good drainage. Good drainage has long been linked with great distribution. If you have been reading, you now better understand why.
Great drainage requires high flow. Flow in and out at high speed will yield many positive effects. Distribution, blood or staining removal, and “whip,” to name a few. We might agree “whip” is not something we often hear discussed among embalmers. To be put simply, “whip” is the desaturation of tissue. It is an effect that happens when flowing fluid travels fast enough to pull from surrounding tissue. Take the time to concentrate on how this works. Visualize a car traveling under 5 MPH in a straight line. Air in front of the car will be pushed around the car and air will replace the space behind that car as the car moves forward. Now picture this same car traveling above 190 MPH, also in a straight line. The car will cut through the air, leaving a trail in the vehicle’s wake empty. Air will rush to fill this space rapidly from the surrounding area. This is much like what happens as fluid travels fast through the vascular system. The vessels will draw fluid from the surrounding tissue. This is a physical means that can be used to reduce edematous tissue. The embalmer must consider and account for drainage being near equal to the displacement of fluid via injection. To utilize this method to its full potential, the embalmer must also consider the injection point and drainage point.
As an example, consider the injection site at the right common carotid artery with injection south towards the heart, with drainage via the jugular vein. Generalized edema is observed within the legs. This method is going to promote fluid remaining within the body, and be only partially effective to desaturate the legs. Compare the above method to an injection site at the right common carotid artery with a cannula deep within the abdominal aorta and drainage via the femoral arteries. With delivery of the fluid closer to the target location, fluid has less of an ability to travel via other vessels, therefore increasing the volume of fluid being delivered to the area. Subsequently, the drainage from this area can now be greater. By being closer to the target location, the embalmer can affect or influence the drainage with more control, using drainage instruments designed to pull fluid. These instruments which pull fluid will only increase the speed of drainage and therefore increase the desaturation of tissue.
It is wise of the embalmer to consider their approach to be certain that they have spent the proper amount of time desaturating tissues, as well as saturating tissues, to achieve proper preservation. From injection to drainage, where, why and how. Furthermore, the particular case circumstances of as example edema location is necessary to maximize the results of the embalming process.
-The Mortuary Scientist
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