Working with Cadaver the very first time.

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by kornphan, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. kornphan

    kornphan Senior Member

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    We will be starting on the Cadaver on Monday.. I am kinda of scared.. I have seen some pictures on the web eg (http://poetry.rotten.com/dismember/) is it really like this ?..

    What can I expect ?.. any horror stories ??.. also have you heard of anyone that had to drop out of med School because they could not handle the Cadaver ??.. (just curious)...

    thanks..
     
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  3. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
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    I really don't think that its that bad. The first couple of days are a bit weird, but after that you just go in to work and study without really thinking about it. If you'll be spending months on your dissection the smell will get worse before you get done, but early on the smell is just formaldehyde.

    What part will you be dissecting first?
     
  4. KyGrlDr2B

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    Don't worry about it. No one in my class got sick and no one dropped out. It's weird the first day because there they are laying in all their naked glory. We kept our cadaver's head and penis covered up the majority of the time because that would've been just too distracting. One girl in my group was really bothered by the head. She hated dissecting the face, bisecting the head, etc. I was bothered by skinning him in the areas where he had a lot of moles....I know, that's a weird thing to get freaked out about, but slicing through those moles, ewww, yucko. And the hemisection of the pelvis was a little disturbing because there is your buddy all destroyed. I had a little fondness for my cadaver...he was from my county so I liked him a little more. ;)
     
  5. i have a vey ignorant question, are cadavers real people?
     
  6. mws99

    mws99 Senior Member

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    Yeah, they are real people who donated their bodies to science. What did you think a cadaver was if not a real person?
     
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  7. Amy

    Amy Animal Lover
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    Of course!! What else would they use? That's what happens to people when they donate their body to science. But as sacrament said, they don't look all that "real" because they're preserved, so the skin is very leathery and they smell like formaldehyde. BTW, I have never heard of anyone dropping out of school b/c they couldn't handle it. You get used to it very quickly.
     
  8. TysonCook

    TysonCook Senior Member
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    Yeah they're real, what else would you dissect?

    Don't sweat it, get gung-ho, pump yourself up, and make the cut. We keep our bodies bagged except for the parts that we are working on. This keeps the body moist and easier to work with. We also keep the head wrapped so it doesn't dry out.

    Personally the bad part for me in my undergrad course was the face/head. The face/head makes it more personal, it literally puts a face with the body.

    Anyway, don't sweat it, and just remeber that these people have donated their bodies for your edcuation, for you to learn. In my opionion they have put up thier body for you, so now its time for you to step up, make that cut, and learn.
     
  9. thanks u guys, well i thot they were manicans!
     
  10. SpiceGirl

    SpiceGirl Junior Member

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    what the heck is a manican???
     
  11. uffda

    uffda Senior Member

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    mannequin
     
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  12. :laugh: :laugh: i am sorry! my bad!
     
  13. DrDavid

    DrDavid New Member

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    Before the first lab, I too was apprehensive about dissection. I heard stories from second-year students about the smell, the rotten flesh, the foul smell when they took the practical exam in May. My big was telling me ?If you think it smells bad now, wait till May, it?ll only get worse and worse.? I was also worried about my allergies, because I wasn?t sure whether or not I?m allergic to formaldehyde or other chemicals in the lab. I don?t want to be the only person wearing a bio-warfare mask. I was also scared about horrible stories of rigor mortis I heard when I was a kid. I know it won?t happen, but anything can happen. All the guys in my group are pretty macho about it. But when it came to making the first cut, guess what I was the first one.
    During the orientation, I got to see a dead body for the first time. She was an old woman. One big relief that occurred to me was that my nose was not allergic to anything in the lab. She looked very different from a living person. It was kind of hard to picture that she was once a living person. I spent couple seconds thanking her for giving us this opportunity to learn.
    Doing dissection reminds me of that when I was a kid, I loved to dismantle things like radios or clocks, just to see what?s inside without any intensions of putting things back together again. That?s how I feel sometimes when I cut the muscles or chisel the vertebrae. And there?s a lot of oops during dissection as well as when I dismantled things.
    After the first week of dissection, I found myself seeing our cadaver as a collection of body parts instead of a whole person. I guess I became detached and distant from this person. I guess I began to perceive this body as a soulless learning tool. It wasn't till when we were dissecting the hand that I realized I was holding our cadaver's hand, it was a weird feeling.
    Of course, there is the decapitation of the head and making the sagital section through the head in the spring... Something to look forward to... ...
     
  14. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Dead people never raeally freaked me out because, well, they're dead. The only strange thing in our group was when we were told the age of death of our cadaver: 29. Being that is my age, it was a bit strange, especially since the second youngest in our lab was 67.

    I'm sure you'll find that once you get set to business you'll find yourself detached from the cadaver's being a person and look more toward the education of the process.

    Different people can be affected by different parts. One guy in my group really got weirded out by the face, but only when he thought about it. When you're dug in, you don't even think about it. Additionally, we're doing the perineum now, so people are having a tough time, but they get over it quickly.

    And of course, as you progress, the cadaver looks less like a person.
     
  15. rbassdo

    rbassdo newly hindu

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    kutastha,

    what is that symbol just below your user-name? It looks like a thoracic vertebrae.

    ryan
     
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  17. Amy

    Amy Animal Lover
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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  18. Castro Viejo

    Castro Viejo Papa Clot Buster

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    The pictures on that link look more like cross-sectional anatomy rather than an accidental dismemberment.

    Anyway, I think the first-day is pretty nerve-wracking. Well, maybe the entirety of the first week. We started with the upper extremities and when it came time to dissect the hand, holding the hand was difficult. After that experience the rest of gross anatomy, except for the head/face, wasn't all too bad.

    If you want nice pictures of gross anatomy dissections, pick up a copy of Rohen & Yokochi.
     
  19. Qafas

    Qafas Jarhead

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    I agree with some of the previous posters about how it doesn't even feel like you are working with a real person, since the cadavers are preserved and have lost many of their "life-like" characteristics. I worked for a few months at a coroner's office as an autopsy assitant, and the difference is stark! After having helped on autopsies, cadaver dissections don't seem bad at all. And if you think the formaldehyde/phenol smell bad, you should smell blood!!!! That was the one thing I never got used to. I used to spray the inside of my mask with perfume, and try like hell throughout the autopsy not to breathe through my nose. Anyway, that was quite an experience.

    with regards
     
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  20. SpiceGirl

    SpiceGirl Junior Member

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    Ahhh, mannequin, got it. Just out of curiosity, where do you go to school, ImmediateSpring? I thought all the schools had begun Anatomy now....it's cool that you guys haven't thoguh, so you have a chance to get into ohter things before you start the hard stuff.
     
  21. oh sorry if i gave the wrong impression, i am a junior, i havent even taken the mcats. opps my bad.
     
  22. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    it's normal to be anxious kornphan. Everyone was in my class when we first started.

    These have helped me. Perhaps they will help you as well. :)

    1. Don't look at the face, hands, and feet. You shouldn't be starting on those and these structures tend to freak pple out in the beginning.
    2. Wear nitrile gloves. The formaldehyde and phenol goes right through the latex gloves and unless someone else feeds you, your food will smell like cadaver.
    3. 'Get into it' If you're busy going down the discection protocol and finding all the structures, you'll think less of "holy snatz i'm cutting up a human being" and more "wow this is cool stuff" (i hope :))

    Take cares!
     
  23. CANES2006

    CANES2006 Miami chica

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    Good advice, however it is really difficult not to look at the face and hands of the cadaver in my school. The entire body is exposed. There is nothing covering the body, so if you are working on the chest, you can't help but look at the face. I mean...after all...IT'S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. :D But, if you get into it, you can easily forget that you are cutting up a human being. At least, that's how it is for me.:)
     
  24. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    to prevent parts from drying up, we keep all parts not being dissected covered in 3 layers. at the end of each day we pour some kind of liquid to keep the parts moist.

    what's freaky sometimes is that you're busy working on the chest and then u realize you have your forearm on the guy's nose! :scared:
     
  25. Mary the Med Student

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    I was fine except for the pelvic hemisection on my 69 yo female. I had to hold the head so that the cadaver didn't move away from the saw. I could feel the vibrations of the saw in the head. ICK.

    Now I'm a fourth year, and I don't seem to be scarred for life. So no worries.

    -Mary
     
  26. DrBlueDevil

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    You pretty much lose all worries about being grossed out after you get so close to a cadaver during a practical exam that your lips touch it. They put those pins are in the hardest-to-see structures...dammit.
     
  27. KyGrlDr2B

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    So True! :laugh:
     
  28. kornphan

    kornphan Senior Member

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    Thank You Hero .. "2. Wear nitrile gloves. The formaldehyde and phenol goes right through the latex gloves and unless someone else feeds you, your food will smell like cadaver.
    "

    I looked on the net and I see a variety of 'nitrile' gloves.. as follows :

    Nitrile Exam Gloves ? Powder Free
    Made from synthetic rubber. Contains no natural rubber latex proteins. Ideal for individuals who are sensitive to natural rubber proteins. Better stress relaxation for better comfort and less fatigue especially during long donning period. High resistance to a wide range of chemicals especially to hydrocarbons, oils and fats. High abrasion and puncture resistance. Very durable, excellent strength and flexibility. Good barrier properties. Sixes Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. 5 Mil.
    (100 Gloves Per Box)
    Price Per Box 100+ Boxes - $7.29 50-99 Boxes - $7.89 0-49 Boxes - $8.29

    Nitrile Exam Gloves ? Powder Free
    Made from synthetic rubber. Contains no natural rubber latex proteins. Ideal for individuals who are sensitive to natural rubber proteins. Better stress relaxation for better comfort and less fatigue especially during long donning period. High resistance to a wide range of chemicals especially to hydrocarbons, oils and fats. High abrasion and puncture resistance. Very durable, excellent strength and flexibility. Good barrier properties. Sixes Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. 5 Mil.
    (100 Gloves Per Box)
    Price Per Box 100+ Boxes - $7.29 50-99 Boxes - $7.89 0-49 Boxes - $8.29

    Industrial Grade Nitrile Gloves ? Powder Free

    Made from synthetic rubber. Contains no natural rubber latex proteins. Ideal for individuals who are sensitive to natural rubber proteins. Better stress relaxation for better comfort and less fatigue especially during long donning period. High resistance to a wide range of chemicals especially to hydrocarbons, oils and fats. High abrasion and puncture resistance. Very durable, excellent strength and flexibility. Good barrier properties. Sixes Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. 5 Mil. (100 Gloves Per Box)
    Price Per Box 100+ Boxes - $6.99 50-99 Boxes - $7.39 0-49 Boxes - $7.79

    Industrial Grade Nitrile Gloves ? Powder Free
    Made from synthetic rubber. Contains no natural rubber latex proteins. Ideal for individuals who are sensitive to natural rubber proteins. Better stress relaxation for better comfort and less fatigue especially during long donning period. High resistance to a wide range of chemicals especially to hydrocarbons, oils and fats. High abrasion and puncture resistance. Very durable, excellent strength and flexibility. Good barrier properties. Sixes Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. 5 Mil. (100 Gloves Per Box)
    Price Per Box 100+ Boxes - $6.99 50-99 Boxes - $7.39 0-49 Boxes - $7.79


    Which ones do you recommend ?... Thanks..
     
  29. dlc

    dlc Senior Member

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    You know, I was so hesitant about gross anatomy. I was nervous going in on the first day and then when we actually uncovered the body, I couldn't even look at the face. But everyone is right, you get used to it so fast. We are beginning the head dissection now and I got that same anxious, apprehensive feeling back within the past couple of days but it wasn't that bad after all, except for the nasty smell of the saw! But you know what happened with my cadaver? He had an abdominal aortic clot, a huge one, and it prevented all of the embalming fluid from efficiently distributing throughout his body so when we opened him up, most of what we saw was fresh! And it smelled horrible, especially when we got down to the colon! I have not gone into lab without a facial mask since that day. And whenever any one of my classmates would come over to our table to look at our body they couldn't stay for long because they couldn't stand the smell! So now whenever we have our practicals and we go around to other cadavers, its not that bad for me because, believe me, I have smelled worse.
    Oh, and incidentally, I was extremely anxious before anatomy because whenever I had tried to observe surgeries or autopsies previously, I would always have to walk out because I would come really close to passing out. So I feel like I have definitely accomplished something being able to stick it out in lab. And we only have really 2 weeks left! (Duke's anatomy program is only 7 weeks long).
     
  30. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    kornphan, sorry for the late reply but get the industrial because it's cheaper :)

    also, some pple double up on nitrile gloves underneath with latex over. but i feel nitrile is enough. good luck, it's no biggie :)
     
  31. UCLA2000

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    The first day in the cadaver lab was kinda interesting. We're now mostly done with anatomy and only have head and neck left.

    My lab group and I talked a few days ago about what our first day was like. It was funny because the other 3 people in my group didn't want to touch the body at all. They didn't want to cut or do anything.

    It was different for me. I really wanted to make the first cut and would have been disappointed if I didn't get to do it.

    I mean for the rest of my life I can say that I made the first cut on the cadaver...you know? My group told me that they were really suprised because I was able to just "jump right in there".

    I must admit that it did have an effect on me though. I'm a visual learner, and I have a very vivid memory...so I had interesting dreams for a while.

    It's kinda weird. During the MCAT studying period I was doing physics problems in my sleep, during anatomy I would be naming all the muscles and stuff layer by layer as I looked at the body in my sleep...kinda disturbing.
     
  32. Docgeorge

    Docgeorge Bent Over and Violated

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    That is most definately not any one trying to make a x-section. It looks as if someone dismembered a body, and I dont mean for educational purposes.
     
  33. Kosmo

    Kosmo Senior Member

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    I had the same impression as Docgeorge, bodies used for cross-section undergo the same preservation process as the cadavers used for dissection. This specimen looks fresh; ie, not preserved.
     
  34. Docgeorge

    Docgeorge Bent Over and Violated

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    The main reason that I dont think that body is getting ready for X-section is that 1) its not preserved, 2) the way it 's disarticulated is not along anatomical lines. I've asked a buddy (fronesic pathologist) to take a look at it. I'll relay his opinion.
     
  35. Docgeorge

    Docgeorge Bent Over and Violated

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    My friend wrote "This body does not look as though it would be use for educational purposes. For instance, the body is not fixed. Bruising patterns on legs, and blood on feet all suggest some sort of tramatic event. This indicates a high likelyhood of being a hoicide victim. I would like to think that cadavers come from Willed body program and not homicide victims. Furthermore, if it were used for educational purposes, the sectioning would occur every 2 to 3 inches to show the transition and overlay of blood supply, nervous innervation, and muculature. This is not demonstrated in th following pic. The pic illustrates the thoracic cavity separated at the Diaphragm from the abdominal cavity. the dismembered pieces are too damn large to be used for beginning medical education. All this body is good for in terms of teaching purposes, is for forensic fellowship residents. That's my two cents worth....."

    and mine too!!!
     
  36. adrrrrrrrrr

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    Hi Dr. David,

    I'm doing an assignment in one of my classes about what it takes to become a doctor. Could you tell me how long you have been a doctor, and where you practice?
     
  37. username456789

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    By now, Dr. David has likely retired, expired, and donated his body to science. Who knows, he may end up as your cadaver in medical school.
     
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  38. adrrrrrrrrr

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    oh i see. makes sense. ha. thanks.
     
  39. engmedpt

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    You might have nightmares for a bit. Youll get over it. You get used to it.
     
  40. NotWayneBrady

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    #38 NotWayneBrady, Dec 2, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  41. TBV

    TBV Banned
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    This reply is almost two months old
     
  42. NotWayneBrady

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    Woops. Deleting! :p
     

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