Medical Uses of Cadavers
Cadavers are essential in the provision of medical education. Indeed, the intricate design of the human body cannot be understood without an in-depth examination of the tissues, organs and their myriad connections. Primarily, cadavers provide both the medical and dental students exposure to parts of human body before they can attempt a real life problem by exploring all internal organs through appropriate dissections. Cadavers uses are evident among medics in other fields such as Practice for Plastic Surgeons, The Body Farm, Crash Test Dummies, Allograft and in Cosmetic use.
Although there are alternative methods of teaching anatomy and physiology such as computer graphic and other computer programs, cadavers provide medical students with firsthand experience when dealing with their patients. The students tackle the reflective mysteries that still exist inside the human body. They can get a thorough examination of the complex design of the human body including tissues, organs and their many connections. It is therefore true to say that cadavers are essential for the transformation of students to physicians.
In the medical field, physicians use cadavers for concluding proofs of surgical techniques. Medical ethics demands that medical cadavers ought to be used to authenticate procedures before they are attempted to live patients. These cadaver labs are of importance since surgeons develop highly polished techniques without the fright of the patients risk.
Cadavers are also critical tools in the perception of the progress of diseases like; cancer, heart diseases, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s diseases. They also help in enduring education of guiding surgeons in latest techniques. A cadaver may be preferred for an imaging projects such as the visible human project, a compilation of thousands of scans and traverse sections of the human body which creates a effective cadaver lab (Roach, 2003).
Some schools use embalming cadavers although the best cadavers are the unembalmed (or fresh) corpses of the lately deceased. The embalming development changes the quality of the muscles and organs appearance compared to a fresh body which is more natural and the muscles and organs look and appear much like they would in a live person. Prior to the use of cadaver, the physicians would mostly presume what was wrong inside the body (Jones, 2000).
Although some medical schools are trying to phase out the use of cadavers in the view of computer- generated imagery, and while there is sufficient information accessible on the position and role of the organs, the cadaver has the benefit of providing the student with experience to a real body (corpse). They give the students concrete experience with cutting into and managing the structure in a human body, a factor that a computer program cannot reproduce. (Jones, 2000).
Plastic surgeons on the other hand use cadaver to practice cosmetic procedures. In a live patient, swelling distorts the completed work and it’s more or less impractical to tell the real appearance due to the setback of swelling, but with the cadavers the finished product looks precisely the way it would appear when healed since there is no problem of swelling. Therefore, cadavers appear significant in plastic surgery particularly in education setting. For instance, a student cannot stay for weeks or yet months for the swelling to go down in order to determine whether the surgery was successful or not. Working on cadavers head also allows the trainer to circulate and help without having to be concerned about cross-contamination or infection as opposed to when using live subjects.
There is also the case of body farm where the body is planted in different states to replicate situations in which a body may be left after murder or accidental death’, some plants are planted in watery places others are partially buried, the purpose of this farm is to learn the speed of decomposition and animal activity around a dead body. in studying this things, forensic scientists can study more about the behavior of bodies after death which assists the law enforcement in their investigations when determining time and even the place of death (Byrd, 2001).
Cadavers are also used as crash dummies by the National Traffic Safety Administration and automobile manufacturers. The motive for using this cadavers is that crash test dummies can be calibrated for these accidents. Therefore, the only thing that can react like a human body is a genuine human body. Cadavers testing, therefore, provides a baseline to a properly calibrated crash test dummies. When cadavers are used in this case, they provide an important life-saving information which is of great value as far as peoples safety is concerned.
The tissues of cadavers are also used in the grafting of bones and skin to victims of burn. Cadavers’ skin is grafted to patients of burns and its ligaments are habitually made use in replacing worn out ACLs. Other alternate parts that are obtained from cadavers include; large blood vessels , bones , heart valves and the eye corneas. The tissues from a cadaver are collected 48 hours after the body has completely stopped working. Organs for transplant are obtained when they are still supplied with blood and nutrients which is mainly achieved through mechanical means. For cosmetic use, alloderm and adermal fillers are prepared from cadavers tissues that have been stripped of its epithelial cells although it still maintains its collagen arrangement. Its normally used for reconstructive and also cosmetic purposes and comes in a micronized form called Cymetra. Examples of other fillers comprises of CosmoPlast , Fascian and lastly but not the least is the CosmoDerm.
In conclusion, the value of cadavers in the dissemination of medical education cannot be overlooked. They have helped medics in trying to unfold the mysteries that lies within the human body which would otherwise not be fully understood by the mere theoretic reading of medical journals, diverse information resources or computer programs. It is also important to encourage people to know the importance of donating their cadavers so that they can be used in various experiments of diseases that will save our future generations.