There are about 600,000 deaths reported each year in the UK and up to 70% of deceased are embalmed, more in urban than rural areas . The main job of a funeral director is to arrange for the disposal of the body of the deceased person whilst an embalmer uses chemicals to prevent any danger to public health (sanitation), to retard the process of decay (presentation) and to restore a more life-like appearance (presentation). Due to the very nature of their work, both occupations come into contact with the deceased, some of which may have died from, or have been suffering from an infectious disease. It is also possible that the deceased may be infectious despite having no known ante-mortem risk of infection. Contact with the deceased can occur during removal of the deceased from place of death to the final resting-place, during storage, washing, embalming or preparing the deceased for viewing.



Infection is a ‘pathological process which involves damaging of the body tissues by micro-organisms or by toxic substances produced by these organisms. Pathogenic micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi may cause infectious diseases. Put simply, infectious disease results from the presence and activity of microbial agents, which can potentially be transmitted to others. Transmission of infectious agents may occur by various routes of exposure. These are:

• Inhalation – Where airborne aerosols or droplets contaminated with micro-organisms are breathed in.

• Mucocutaneous – Direct contact of micro-organisms with skin or eyes.

• Percutaneous – This is when organisms penetrate through intact skin, for example, by a needle stick injury.

• Ingestion – Where micro-organisms are consumed in food or drink, usually as a result of poor hygiene.

The main job of a funeral director is to arrange for the safe disposal of the body of a deceased person. Embalming can be undertaken to help preserve the body and prevent the spread of infection both before and after burial. In order to do this the embalming fluids used must be effective disinfectants against virulent organisms.

Due to the very nature of your work, funeral directors may come into contact with potentially infectious deceased cases, with transmission of infectious agents being possible via several routes of exposure.


How can we help you?

From time to time you may be presented with circumstances that require specialized treatment for infectious or infectious repatriation cases.

Badly decomposing bodies, trauma cases, frozen and drowned bodies, and those to be transported for long distances also require special treatment beyond that of the “normal” case.

  At GT Embalming Service Limited we are proud to supply a team of embalmers able to assess the risk of infection and make recommendations to the care that is necessary for repatriation. Each embalming will be carried out to your client needs. You will receive a pre-embalming quote for the care needed and the necessary expenses for our embalmers. On completion of the work you will receive a full case report and certificate of embalming.