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Acute Adverse Effects of Formaldehyde Treated Cadaver on New Innovative Medical Students and Anatomy Staff Members in the Dissection Hall at Wollo University, Northeast Ethiopia

Authors Tiruneh C

Received 15 November 2020

Accepted for publication 29 December 2020

Published 12 January 2021 Volume 2021:12 Pages 41—47


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder

Chalachew Tiruneh

Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Chalachew Tiruneh
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Po Box: 1145, Dessie, Ethiopia
Tel +251920245474

Introduction: Formaldehyde is the most frequently used chemical for the preservation of a cadaver. However, its toxicity in the dissection hall is frequently ignored.
Objective: To assess the acute adverse effects of formaldehyde treated cadaver on preclinical new innovative medical students and anatomy staff members in the dissection hall at Wollo University, Ethiopia.
Methods: This institutional-based cross-sectional study was carried out from January 20 to February 25, 2020. A total of 88 study participants were surveyed at the department of Human Anatomy, Wollo University, Ethiopia. The participants were those who were exposed to formaldehyde vapors during the dissection of a cadaver in the dissection hall. A self-administered questionnaire which contains the clinical symptoms observed after formaldehyde exposure was used to collect data. The data were entered into EpiData version 4.2 and then exported to SPSS Version 21 for analysis. Finally, the data were expressed in texts, tables, and figures.
Results: The study comprised 84 (95.5%) male and 4 (4.5%) female. In this study, the top three most common acute adverse effects of formaldehyde during dissection of a cadaver in the cadaver room were unpleasant smells, Tiredness/dizziness, and watering of eyes (lacrimation), each accounted for 64 (72.7%), 39 (44.3%) and 35 (39.8%), respectively. The other acute adverse effects were running nose with tingling sensation 27 (30.7%) followed by lack of concentration 24 (27.3%) and headache 22 (25%).
Conclusion: In dissection hall, preclinical medical students and instructors are at high risk to develop various acute adverse symptoms of formaldehyde. Therefore, a free-aldehyde preservation solution should be assumed to prevent its toxicity.

Keywords: adverse effects, cadaver embalming, formaldehyde, innovative medicine, Wollo University

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