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Embalming Vocabulary out of the White Book there is a bunch so this will be broken up

Abdominal Anatomical Regions

(1) nine region plan: by means of four imaginary planes, two of which are horizontal (indicated by lines drawn across the right and left 10" ribs and across the right and left anterior superior iliac spines) and two sagittal (indicated by lines drawn from mid point of inguinal ligament to nipples of chest, right and left sides). Upper row- right hypochondriac, epigastric, left hypochondriac. Middle row - right lumbar, umbilical, left lumbar. Lower row - right inguinal (iliac), hypogastric, left inguinal (iliac). (2) Four region plan: by means of imaginary planes, one horizontal and the other mid-sagittal. Upper right quadrant, upper left quadrant, lower right quadrant, lower left quadrant.


antemortem injuries resulting from friction of the skin against a firm object resulting in the removal of the epidermis


to touch or contact, as with the tarsal plates of the closed eyelids

Accessory Chemicals

group of chemicals used in addition to vascular (arterial) and cavity embalming fluids; includes but is not limited to hardening compounds, preservative powders, sealing agents, mold preventative agents, and pack application agents.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome/AIDS

a specific group of diseases or conditions which are indicative of sever immunosuppression related to infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); person dead having had AIDS may exhibit conditions such as wasting syndrome, extrapulmonary tuberculosis, and Kaposi's sarcoma

Action Level/ AL Exposure Limits

these levels are established to ensure adequate protection of employees at exposures below the OSHA limits, but to minimize the compliance burdens for employers whose employees have exposures below the 8-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL). The AL for formaldehyde is 0.5 ppm.

Actual Pressure

that pressure which is indicated by the injector gauge needle when the arterial tube is open and the arterial solution is flowing into the body.

Adipocere (Grave Wax)

a wax-like material produced by saponification of body fat in a body buried in alkaline soil.


in the presence of free oxygen


to disperse as an aerosol; minute particles of blood and water become atomized and suspended in air when water under pressure meets the blood drainage or when flushing an undercover flush sink

Agglutination (Congealing)

intravascular, the increase of viscosity of blood brought about by the clumping of particulate formed elements in the blood vessels.

Agonal Algor

decrease in body temperature immediately before death

Agonal Coagulation (Congealing)

in reference to blood, a change from a fluid into a thickened mass

Agonal dehydration

the loss of moisture from the living body during the agonal state

Agonal Edema

escape of blood serum from an intravascular to an extravascular location immediately before death

Agonal Fever

increase in body temperature immediately before death

Agonal Period

period immediately before somatic death

Algor Mortis

post mortem cooling of the body to the surrounding temperature

Alternate Drainage (Restricted Drainage)

method if injection drainage in which embalming solutions injected and then injection is stopped while drainage is open.

American Congress of Governmental Industrial Hygienists/

an organization of professional personnel in governmental agencies or educational institutions who are employed in occupational safety and health programs

Amino Acid

the building blocks of proteins; and the end products of protein digestion or hydrolysis, it is a compound containing an amino group (-NH2), a carboxyl (-COOH) group attached to an alpha carbon and a radical


in the absence of free oxygen.


generalized massive edema in subcutaneous tissue

Anatomical Limits

points of origin and points of termination in relation to adjacent structures; used to designate the boundaries of arteries

Anatomical Position

the body is erect, feet together, palms facing forward, and thumbs pointed away from the body


localized abnormal dilation or outpocketing of a blood vessel resulting from a congenital defect or a weakness of a vessel wall

Aneurysm hook

an embalming instrument used for blunt dissection and in raising vessels; has an eye in the hook position of the instrument for placing ligatures around the vessels.

Aneurysm Needle

an embalming instrument that is used for blunt dissection and in raising vessels, which has an eye in the hook portion of the instrument for placing ligatures around the vessels.

Angular Spring Forceps

a multipurpose instrument used in the embalming process


deviation from the normal


in front of the elbow/in the bend of the elbow


before death


toward the front

Anterior Superior Iiac Spine

a bony protuberance, that can be palpated topographically, found on the ilium, the superior, broad portion of the hipbone; the origin of the inguinal ligament and the sartorius muscle.

Anticoagulant Fluid

ingredient of embalming fluids that retards the natural postmortem tendency of blood to become more viscous or prevents adverse reactions between blood and other embalming chemicals

Apparent Death

condition in which the manifestations of life are feebly maintained

Arterial (Vascular) Fluid

the concentrated, preservative, embalming chemical that will be diluted with water to form the arterial solution for injection into the arterial system during vascular embalming. The purpose is for inactivating saprophytic bacteria and rendering the body tissues less susceptible to decomposition.

Arterial Solution

the mixture of arterial (vascular) fluid and water which is used for the arterial injection and may include supplemental fluids

Arterial Tube

a tube used to inject embalming fluid into the blood vascular system


disease of the arteries resulting in thickening, hardening, and loss of elasticity of the arterial walls.


place of union between two or more bones.


accumulation of serous fluids in the peritoneal cavity


freedom from infection and from any form of life; sterility


insufficient intake of oxygen resulting from any of numerous causes


withdrawal of gas, fluids, and semi-solids from body cavities and hollow viscera by means of suction with an aspirator and a trocar


fatty degeneration or thickening of walls of the larger arteries occurring in atherosclerosis


apparatus used for sterilization by steam pressure, usually at 250 F/ 121 degrees C for a specific time


self-destruction of cells; decomposition of all tissues by enzymes of their own formation without microbial assistance.

Autolytic Enzyme

the body's own digestive enzymes that are capable of destroying body cells (autolytic decomposition).

Autopsy (Post Mortem Examination)

a postmortem examination of the organs and tissues of a body to determine cause of death or pathological condition.

Bactericidal Agent

agent that destroys bacteria

Bacteriostatic Agent

agent that has the ability to inhibit or retard bacterial growth. No destruction of viability of the microorganism is implied.

Balsamic Substance

resins combined with oil; a fragrant, resinous, oily exudate from various trees and plants.

Base of the Axillary Space

the armpit

Bichloromethyl Ether/BCME

a carcinogen potentially produced when formaldehyde and sodium hypochlorite come into contact with each other; normally occurs only in a controlled laboratory setting and requires a catalyst.


biological agent or condition that constitutes a hazard to humans.

Biohazardous Waste (Infectious Waste)

bloodborne pathogens, blood or body fluids exposure, any potentially infective, contaminated waste associated with the preparation of human remains that constitutes a hazard to humans in the workplace

Biological Death

irreversible somatic death

Bischloromethyl Ether/ BCME

a carcinogen potentially produced when formaldehyde and sodium hypochlorite come into contact with each other; normally occurs only in a controlled laboratory setting and requires a catalyst

Bleaching Agent

a chemical that lightens a skin discoloration


cell-containing fluid that circulates through the blood vascular system and is composed of approximately 22 % solids and 78% water

Blood Discoloration

discolorations resulting from change in blood composition, content, or location, either intravascularly or extravascularly

Blood Pressure

the pressure exerted by the blood in the living body on the arterial wall measured in millimeters of mercury

Blood Vascular System

circulatory network composed of the heart, arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins

Bloodborne Pathogen Rule

OSHA Reg (29CFR 1910-1030) regulating the employee's exposure to blood and other body fluids. OSHA definitions: blood, human blood, human blood components, and products made from human blood.

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