Care After Death
Algor mortis: is the gradual decrease of body temperature after death. When blood circulation ceases, the hypothalamus stops to function and the body temperature falls about IC ( 1.8 deg. F) per hour until it reaches room temperature. Skin loses its elasticity and can be easily broken when removing dressing and adhesive tapes
Livor mortis- after circulation has ceased the RBC breaks down releasing haemoglobin, which discolour the surrounding tissues.
Declaration of death:
Should know- whether there is an autopsy or an inquest. If it is a medico legal case, it should be brought to the brought to the notice of legal authorities.
Care of Body:
A bodv should be cared for immediately after death and before rigor mortis develops.
· Remove all appliances used for the care of the client.
· All jexvellery are removed, listed and given to the closest relative and receipt is obtained for the delivery.
· Clean the bodv. Using strong disinfectant carefully wash the entire body.
· Then body is placed in normal anatomical position.
· Normally the body is placed in a supine position with the arms either at the sides, palms down, or across the abdomen
· The eyes are closed as in sleep and the body is straightened with the arms laid at the
sides.(or across abdomen)
· Any dentures if removed is replaced and the mouth is closed.
· Plug all orifices with cotton to prevent the escape of bodily discharges
· Place a perineal pad or diaper under the buttocks to prevent the escape of urine and stool
· Bathe the body and comb the hair (special situations??)
· Elevate the head on a pillow and place a folded towel under the chin to keep it propped up.
Bandages are used to keep the mouth closed.
· Tie the thumbs of the hands and the great toes of the feet together
· An identification tag with the client's name, age, address, ward, bed no, date, time and cause of death are attached to the head after the body is wrapped in a mortuary sheet.
· The body is wrapped in a shroud,
· A large piece of plastic or cotton material used to enclose a body after death.
· Client's chart with all the details about the cause of death is sent to the office which
registers births and deaths.
Care of dead-AIDS patient:
· Plug all orifices well.
· Cover open wounds with 'Water proof dressing
· Bleaching powder should be kept inside the plastic sheets
· Tie the bag well.
· Label the body; label the sheets covering the body, label the bag in which the body is kept. suggest the relatives not to open the bag once it is closed
· Cremation is the best procedure to dispose the dead
Care of the unit:
"discharge of the patient"
Caring for the family:
- Listen to the family's expressions of grief, loss and helplessness
- Arrangement to view the body
- Provide them a private place to begin their grieving
- Follow up.
Caring for other patients:
Other patients need to be consoled. Grief reactions?