Coping with an Unattended Death
An unattended death isn’t something you can prepare for and when it happens it will undoubtedly hit family and friends hard, especially if the loved one was not discovered for some time.
Unattended death occurs when someone dies, but the body is not immediately discovered.
It may be days, weeks or even months before the body is found, and it often happens when there are no immediate family or friends nearby to check on the person and therefore realize they have passed. As it can be days, weeks or months before the deceased is found, the decomposition process will have already begun. That’s why unattended deaths require specialized cleaning to be carried out by experienced, certified professionals.
BioHelpers’ compassionate team of technicians is here to walk you through the process and help you cope during a difficult time.
*If you have discovered an unattended death, call the appropriate authorities immediately and reach out to us for a consultation or same-day service.*
Talk to one of our experienced specialists.
The Importance of Safe, Timely Clean Up after unattended death
Following an unattended death it is important that the area is cleaned and disinfected safely and correctly to ensure that any bacteria released from the deceased, such as E. coli from urine, gases (carbon dioxide, methane or nitrogen) or any other bodily fluids, such as blood, are not spread around and that the area is fully free of harmful bloodborne pathogens, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV.
If a person were to come into contact with infected surfaces, they could become infected themselves, potentially falling ill and posing a threat to others.
So, what happens in an unattended death? and why do you need to clean the place by a licensed professional? Well, when an area of your home or office has experienced decomposition, it could contain blood and body fluids that can become extremely harmful and dangerous to human life, making it essential that all cleaning and disinfecting is carried out by trained, certified professionals in a timely manner.
Understanding the Unattended Death Cleanup Process
Safely cleaning the site where aof death occurs is often more complex than cleaning your home or business and requires further skills and knowledge that only a trained professional would have.
At BioHelpers, we adhere to all OSHA-mandated regulations and procedures while removing all traces of blood, bacteria and other airborne pathogens, keeping you, our staff and the area in question safe and secure as we prevent cross-contamination..
This includes knowing how to disinfect, deodorize and test for the presence of harmful pathogens. It also requires specialized training, equipment, and qualifications.
Call us today to speak with one of our specialists. In most cases, we can be on-site in 2–4 hours.
Your Unattended Death Check List
1. CONTACT YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITIES
If you arrive on the scene of an unattended death, immediately contact your local authorities. Even if foul play is unlikely, the authorities will take precautions to be sure the site is handled properly and determine the exact cause of death.
2. ARRANGE TRANSPORTATION
If the medical examiner determines there was no foul play involved in the death, the authorities will no longer require any investigation. At that point, it is up to you to secure transportation. Contact a preferred mortuary service or crematorium.
3. CONTACT FAMILY AND FRIENDS
As soon as possible, contact family and friends of the deceased individual. It’s important not to take on this burden by yourself. Help set up a network of individuals responsible for reaching out to personal contacts and associates, houses of worship and social media.
4. HAVE THE PROPERTY CLEANED BY PROFESSIONALS
An unattended body can become a serious hazard to your health. Professional cleaning services that specialize in handling unattended deaths will help you understand the process and get the site back to its original condition. Note that if a property becomes designated as a crime scene, cleaning must take place after investigations of any kind are complete.
5. ANTICIPATE A DIFFICULT SITUATION
The site of an unattended death can be unsettling. Even where violence is not involved, there can be traces of an untimely death including bodily fluids and unpleasant odors. Bodies that have begun to decompose can also pose serious health risks, so be cautious and find a professional you can trust to handle the site.
6. BEGIN AN INSURANCE CLAIM, IF NECESSARY
Your homeowner’s policy is likely to cover cleanup following unattended death. A good professional cleaning service can be a valuable resource during a difficult time, helping you to navigate the insurance process and giving you sound, professional advice along the way.
7. RELY ON PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
No matter what the situation is surrounding your experience of an unattended death, it is easy to get overwhelmed. We can all use an extra hand, a sympathetic ear, and a caring nudge on the path forward. Find professionals you can trust to provide you with the best guidance and services during what is no doubt a difficult time.