5. I’m in the military as a histopathogist. Part of my job is assisting in autopsies. Basically, I’m a diener and I help the pathologist with the autopsy. I have done quite a few autopsies. Most of them are suicides, followed by accidental deaths. But here’s a few things I learned over the years:
Not everyone crapped themselves when they died. I have only had a handful who did so but it was a traumatic death.
A person who just recently died (less than 24 hours) does not normally smell bad. Kind of like a musky locker room smell. However, if the individual drank a lot of alcohol before death, the smell is quite pungent.
Bodies that have been in water for an extended amount of time is the worst smell in the world. Because the body is breaking down, the proteins of the body like to attach themselves to other proteins. This means you. You will smell liked death and it takes some time and effort to get rid of the smell. I usually use lemon juice to get rid of the smell on me. For my clothes, I usually toss them away.
Also, bodies retain a lot of water if they are submerged in it. You will swell to unimaginable portions. And then will leak everywhere. And you will be very hard to move from the fridge to the autopsy table because they are very squishy.
When I take out the brain, I just make cut along the back of the head and pull your face down. Like a mask.
I also take out your tongue because it will swell during embalming. I have to be careful doing that to ensure I don’t make a cut in the neck. Doesn’t look pretty if it’s open casket. I also tie off the main arteries to help the embalmers.
There’s more I can tell you but that’s what I can think of right now. I love my job and I love teaching my specialty to people who have never heard of my field.
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