Understanding embalming

Embalming is an important custom for many cultures and families. At Walter Carter Funerals, we treat each deceased with care, dignity and respect, and ensure the body is prepared to achieve the best results.

Put simply, embalming is similar to a surgical process and achieves three things: sanitisation, preservation and presentation of the body.

This is achieved by treating all parts of the body with various chemicals. The process uses the vascular system of the body as a vehicle for distribution of fluids to the tissue bed. Other procedures are used to treat organs and external features.

Not all bodies require embalming, but health regulations deem it essential in certain circumstances; for example, if the body is going to be interred above ground (in a vault or mausoleum) or is being repatriated overseas.

At Walter Carter Funerals, we treat each deceased with care, respect and dignity, and whether embalmed or not we ensure the body is prepared to achieve the best results.

It’s important to be aware that embalming does not permanently preserve the body.

Why embalm?

There are many reasons to embalm a body.

  • To satisfy requirements for transporting a body by air, sea or other long-distance transportation
  • To assist in maintaining the cleanliness of the body
  • To enable others to handle a deceased person without the risk of infection or contamination
  • To prepare the body, by firming tissue, for any required reconstructive and cosmetic work
  • To try to remove the devastation caused by long-term disease or illness
  • To help minimise the results of trauma, chemotherapeutic drugs and the visible post-mortem changes that have started to appear
  • To enhance the appearance of the body and return the deceased person to a more natural presentation for a viewing by family and friends
  • To temporarily preserve the body, so that the funeral does not need to take place immediately
  • To meet government legal requirements (if applicable).