February Case: Airway Mucus Plugging
…The photograph shows the large airway opened from behind. Seen are: the voice box (left, black arrow), trachea (center); two mainstem bronchi (right, white arrows). The airway is completely filled with mucus. This patient was very weak (from cancer and from an infection), had advanced Alzheimer’s disease, and could not “clear” the mucus. Normally, people can “clear” mucus by coughing it out of the airway (and then swallowing or spitting it out). The patient was too weak to do this. So the mucus built up and blocked the airway.
Legislative Update: Bill HB4202 (Embalming Absent Instructions)
Bill HB4202 (Embalming Absent Instructions) is structured to address family indecision or unresponsiveness in communicating their embalming and/or refrigeration wishes to the funeral director. While the bill functions to ensure timely disposition of the deceased, the bill takes insufficient steps to support the broad rights of families to control disposition and does not acknowledge or compassionately manage bereavement issues impacting these families.