Talk about not paying the freight. Four embalmed heads and 40 partial skulls that belong to Medtronic failed to make it aboard a Southwest Airlines flight to Dallas last week because the packages did not have the correct paperwork,The Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes.
Apparently, the heads were simply not labeled or packaged properly, an airline spokesman tells the paper, without saying how heads or skulls are usually wrapped. The airline, in other words, needs more of a head's up. In any event, local authorities were contacted. For the curious, the specimens were headed for Medtronic's Fort Worth office, but are now resting in a county coroner's office.
Not surprisingly, a Medtronic spokesman tells the paper that skulls and heads are used to train and educate neurosurgeons in "neurosurgical and temporal bone ear, nose and throat procedures," and that shipments are usually sent commercially. Even in this age of concern over what drug and device makers are allowed to offer physicians, a certain comfort can be had knowing docs do not have to bring their own embalmed heads to training. Meanwhile, Medtronic execs will have to put their heads together to avoid a repeat.