Eastern sends moldy cadavers to Effingham


File Photo

Katherine Lemon, a senior biological sciences major, examines a cadaver during the human anatomy class.

Jarad Jarmon, Associate News Editor

Walking into one of the anatomy labs, an Eastern anatomy professor noticed alarming changes in the normally stagnate dead bodies in the room.

Mold infestation had reached the two corpses Friday.

The dysfunctional ventilation system meant to prevent mold from reaching the bodies failed, forcing the life sciences department to dispose of the bodies by sending the cadavers to the Effingham Crematorium to be burned.

Karen Gaines, the biological sciences department chair, said they have been having problems with the ventilation system and the air conditioning system, but they cannot afford to replace them at the moment because of budgetary concerns.

Even though the ventilation system was revamped only five years ago, malfunctions have made preserving the many specimens in the building more difficult.

The room was cleaned and cleared of all of the contaminants Thursday.

Gaines said this was not a surprise to the staff who had to deal with the cadavers on a daily basis.

She said the anatomy professors noticed changes in the cadavers, but mold did not pop up until Friday.

Despite the lack of cadavers, Gaines said classes normally instructed with cadavers would be taught with models.

Classes involving the cadavers will not be canceled.

Gaines said it is unlikely these cadavers will be replaced, but it is unclear what they will be doing in response to the losses.

Those in the biological sciences department will be meeting Friday to decide what they will do to handle the lack of cadavers.

Because of budgetary constraints, she said they might have to stick with models, which is disappointing.

She said models “do not compare to the real thing,” and students will miss out on the learning experience provided by the cadavers.

They might seek synthetic cadavers in replacement of the real cadavers, which cost $2,000 each, they had for only one year.

The Biological Sciences building has had several issues with mold because of the lack of proper ventilation.

Mold can be found in several places in the building.

This, along with other issues, is one of the reasons there has been a push to have a new Biological Sciences building.


Jarad Jarmon can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].