Time allotted for anatomical education continues to be whittled down in most curricula. Therefore, instructors of courses that continue to dissect the human cadaver must utilize all available time wisely.
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Traditionally, in most dissection courses students begin their dissections with the aid of a dissector and follow step-by-step instructions of how to dismantle the human form to identify various structures. Such guides, in general, are written much like recipes. However, such instructions for the most part do not provide students with the same stepby- step visual instructions of what to expect during their exploration of the human body, and if they do, these are most likely schematic drawings that often look nothing like the actual anatomical structures. It is this deficit in available dissectors on the market that compelled us to put together a collection of dissection photographs with accompanying text to better assist the student of anatomy. It is our hope that being able to see what students are expected to find during their dissection, from superficial to deep, will allow them to be more efficient not only in their learning experience but also with their time. Using the appropriate dissection laboratory materials and tools is essential in making the dissection of a cadaver as rewarding as possible. Many experienced dissectors have their favorite tool. The following list of materials and dissection tools allows dissectors to care for their cadaveric donor while acquiring the experience and knowledge of a successful dissection.
Although not comprehensive, this list provides the appropriate tools to dissect a cadaveric donor in the anatomy teaching laboratory. MATERIALS AND TOOLS Cadaver Materials Blocks. Plastic or wooden blocks of different shapes and sizes (6-18 inches) can be used to position the cadaver (Fig. 1-1). Stands. Removable stands that either bridge or attach to dissection tables are useful for holding dissection guides, texts, and atlases for dissection. Plastic S heets.
Plastic sheets can be used to cover the cadaver, which comes with a shroud and a cotton sheet. This helps maintain moisture within the cadaver, to prevent drying and to allow dissection of appropriately hydrated tissue. Cotton S heets. Surgical green or blue sheets covering a plastic sheet help preserve the cadaver and create a professional working environment. Spray Bottle. An individual plastic spray bottle (1 quart) at each cadaver station allows dissectors to maintain good-quality tissue (Fig. 1-1). An alternative is a 2- to 3-gallon pressure spray unit shared among the dissection laboratory stations. Holding C ontainer. The plastic, 5- to 10-gallon container with a spigot stores cadaver hydration solution. Cadaver H ydrating S olution. Several types of mixtures are available to hydrate and maintain cadaver tissue. The authors use a solution with 3000 mL of propylene glycol, 500 mL of ethyl alcohol, and 300 mL of fabric softener, in a 10-gallon holding unit, with the remainder filled with water. Cadaver Bag. The bag helps to maintain hydration and care of the cadaver (Fig. 1-2).
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