“TRICKS OF THE TRADE”
 

EYE CLOSURE

We are pleased and proud to present to you this tip, provided to us by renowned textbook author Robert G. Mayer.  In addition to authoring the textbooks that a great many of us studied in mortuary school, Mr. Mayer serves as an adjunct professor at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and is a licensed embalmer and funeral director in the state of Pennsylvania. 

On the subject of eye closure, when Mr. Mayer embalms, he sets the eyes (almost always) after embalming, using caps and cotton (more often cotton) for closure.  Since eyelids are usually rather soft, says Mr. Mayer, you can tighten the tissue and ensure good preservation by placing a few drops of cavity fluid (from a needle and syringe) on the cotton, then gluing the lids shut. You may proceed then with cosmetics. In a few hours, you will find excellent preservation of the tissues, with no discoloration, no dehydration or separation of the lids. This protocol is a must when you have any trauma to the eye area. The mouth can be closed similarly, by putting a layer of cotton over the teeth, using a little cavity fluid, then gluing shut. 

Note:  We are indebted to Mr. Mayer for this useful tip, which outlines an excellent way to deal with some of the challenges of feature setting.  This is an especially fine tip for experienced embalmers well-versed in the embalming process.  Novice embalmers may find that it works better for them to set the features first, using Mr. Mayer’s techniques, then embalm.  

 

 

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