Rigor Mortis Flashcards Preview

Embalming Conditions > Rigor Mortis > Flashcards

Flashcards in Rigor Mortis Deck (12):

Rigor mortis marks end of muscle cell life

Usually passes within 36-72 hours of death; intense rigor stage causes most problems for embalming


Problem: Body absorbs only small amounts of preservative because muscle proteins are tied up in rigor

Treatment: Release rigor; inject stronger solution


Problem: Preservative demand greatly increased after rigor passes

Treatment: Saturate tissues with strong solution so preservative can continue to react with muscle proteins


Problem: Positioning difficulties

Treament: Break rigor using gentle manipulation & massage


Problem: Difficulty setting features

Treatment: release rigor in face by massaging muscles & opening/closing jaw


Problem: Muscle contraction puts pressure on vessels = poor fluid distribution

Treatment: Release rigor; trace distribution with fluid dye; don't preinject


Other ways to increase distrbution:

1). Use restricted cervical or multipoint injection
2). Start with low pressure & R-O-F, then gradually increase
3). Inject on pulse mode
4). Massage tissues
5). Use coinjection fluids


Problem: Muscle contraction puts pressure on vessels = poor drainage

Treatment: break rigor; use massage; use coinjection chemicals; use alternate/intermittent drainage; manipulate pressure & R-O-F


Problem: Tissues prone to distention due to torn capillaries caused by releasing rigor, and restriction of distribution in some areas causing fluid to collect elsewhere

Treatment: Release rigor; use restricted cervical (protect face from distention); inject minimum volume of strong solution at low pressure; massage tissues


Problem: pH issues cause difficulty preserving tissues effectively

Treatment: Use buffers, saturate tissues with strong solution; release rigor


Problem: Tissues may not firm once rigor passes; firmness from rigor may be taken as sign of preservation

Treatment: Use sufficient volumes of strong solution; do not rely on tissue firmness to indicate distribution; use fluid dyes to trace


Problem: Difficult to attain uniform preservation/distribution due to differing levels of rigor in different tissues

Treatment: use strong fluids, use other techniques for ensuring distribution/preservation