Funeral Industry News

Sutureless Protocols and Risk Management

July 15, 2010

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Sutureless Protocols and Risk Management

imageThanoSeal? tape is an occlusive incision and wound sealant, which is designed with an extremely aggressive pressure sensitive adhesive to eliminate leaks, seal skin slip, and seal incisions.

The funeral industry has experienced a significant number of advances in technology over the last few decades. Several advances in funeral technology have added to the art and science of embalming. However, there is one issue in particular that every prep-room professional has to deal with, that is risk management. For those of us who routinely work with human remains, we are aware of the immediate threats and potential hazards of the occupation. As professional embalmers, we are aware of the risks associated with needle and scalpel punctures, as well as, potential exposure to bio-hazards and infectious diseases.

Some of the outcomes that these risks carry can be mundane or minimal, however others can be lethal if an ?accident? or ?exposure? occurs. With our constant exposure to these instruments, the probability for a potential accident increases drastically. Our working conditions have been dramatically improved by new techniques and technologies such as the development of sutureless protocols and procedures. Benefits include a nearly invisible closure when used on a carotid incision, as well as eliminating the historical risk of sharps injuries. Learning a new technique can be challenging, however, very rewarding. The benefit of using a sutureless protocol such as ThanoSeal, can be substantial.

A Sutureless Protocol verses a ?baseball? or ?hidden? stitch can make a substantial difference in the time it takes to prepare a case for showing. It minimizes embalming time by eliminating the need for sewing, while avoiding possible needle injuries in the process. Once a very touchy and delicate suturing job, has now turned into a simple and risk free task. An explanation of the procedure begins at the point where ligatures are tied off and a drying compound has been placed into the incision.

? Clean and dry the area around the incision carefully, using a cotton product, this will absorb moisture to ensure a clean surface.

? Using a cyano-acrylic (super glue) product, start on one end of the incision, working toward the other end, next, take your fingers and roll the two edges of the incision together, so that the edges end up inside the incision. The incision is closed at this time but not sealed.

? The use of an occlusive sealant, such as ThanoSeal, is highly recommended. Select the ThanoSeal size suitable to cover the entire incision or wound. Pull up one corner of the tape to remove it from the release liner (may use forecepts to avoid getting it stuck to your glove), then apply with firm and even pressure to complete the seal and maximize the adhesive bond. This same procedure can be used on Tracheotomy incisions or Carotid area catheters.

Sutureless protocol has been around the profession for many years with the invention of super-glue. However, now there is an industry specific occlusive sealant. ThanoSeal was developed by a 4th-generation professional embalmer, Scott McAulay from California, and Argent International, a leader in sealants and pressure sensitive tapes.

ThanoSeal is readily available through distributors such as Crescent Sales and Southland Medical. If you would like to learn more about ThanoSeal or view a video of ThanoSeal being applied, please visit

Innovation Award Finalist

Thanoseal was selected as one of five finalists for the 2010 NFDA Innovation Award. This is truly a great accomplishment, as NFDA received over 40 entries this year. Funeral directors are fortunate to work with companies who are willing to help move the profession forward; Thanoseal is one of those!

Click Here to place your vote for one of the 5 finalist.

Click here to view the finalists and all the entries for the 2010 NFDA Innovation Award.