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September 14, 1964

Embalming Before Autopsy

JAMA. 1964;189(11):867-868. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070110069029

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To the Editor:—  I should like to file a dissent to the opinions given by Dr. John G. Gruhn regarding embalming prior to autopsy (Questions and Answers, JAMA189:173 [July 13] 1964).With regard to trocaring, I will be more vigorous than Dr. Gruhn and state that no one in his right mind who has ever done an autopsy on a trocared body would permit another one to be so treated. This is not what the undertaker wants, however. He is quite content to do the vascular perfusion only and pack the body cavities with embalming compound after the autopsy has been done. Perfusing the body converts the autopsy from a semiemergency procedure to one that may be fitted into the day's schedule. This is of practical advantage in smaller communities where batteries of residents are not available to perform the autopsies, and it may be nearly imperative in

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