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Does Embalming Cause Excessive Swelling?


Not too long ago a family I know had a daughter who died from head trauma, the result of a motor vehicle accident. This young woman was about 20 years old, and when disconnected from life support had no visible trauma to her face or anywhere for that matter. There was no post-mortem, but her organs were donated for transplant. Shortly after the funeral director picked up the body he called the family and recommended a closed casket because her features were swelled beyond recognition. Did the embalmer goof by using too much pressure with his injection machine, or did the removal of organs contribute to this condition, in your opinion?

It is certainly difficult to speculate as to what may have been the cause of the swelling mentioned in your question. I have experienced, however, situations where life support systems/ventilators have been known to cause swelling. Although I am a licensed embalmer, I have not practiced embalming for nearly 12 years now and, therefore, prefer to refrain from providing any further guidance in answering this question.--Rob Jones

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