Understanding the Unattended Death Cleanup Process

One of the toughest types of death to encounter is one in which a loved one has died in an unattended manner. What this means is that someone you care about has died alone, from one of these causes:

  • Accident
  • Illness
  • Disease
  • Homicide
  • Suicide

Moreover, the person succumbed to death with no one around and the individual’s remains were not discovered in a timely manner. In other words, days, weeks, or even longer passed from the time of death until the body was discovered. These types of deaths happen in Los Angeles and Southern California each and every day.

In today’s world, a person can end up dying alone for a number of reasons. For example, a person may live alone and may not have regular visits. This is fairly common when an older person lives alone, even an older man or woman with children. While a family member of a person who dies unattended death in this manner is likely to feel a tremendous amount of guilt about not being in more regular contact with a now-deceased loved one, such an individual is not alone. Families from all walks of life face the consequences of unattended death with regularity in the state of California, including Los Angeles.

In the aftermath of this type of death, it is essential to understand the basics of what happens after a person dies alone, including the unattended death cleanup process.

Understanding Decomposition

As unpleasant of a subject biological decomposition is to contemplate, it is the underlying reason why certain steps must be taken during the unattended death process. You need to understand that decomposition begins the moment a person dies, even though there initially is no evidence of what is occurring.

Nonetheless, within a matter of a couple of days, evidence of decomposition becomes apparent. That is because by the 24 to 48-hour juncture after death, major organs inside a body have already been significantly overtaken by bacteria, which is spreading apace throughout all of the remains.

As bacteria break down the human body, liquids and gases begin to release from the remains and into the area in which the death occurred. These liquids and gases contain what are classified biohazardous materials because they contain dangerous pathogens.

Removal of the Remains and Release of the Scene for Unattended Death Cleanup

Before anything can be accomplished in the way of unattended death cleanup, the remains need to be removed and the premises released to the homeowner or other responsible parties. For example, in Los Angeles and elsewhere in Southern California, if the death appears to be the result of homicide, the coroner and law enforcement investigators need to conduct their examinations of the scene before the unattended death cleanup process commences.

Biohazard Personal Protective Equipment

Once the appropriate time arrives to commence the unattended death cleanup itself, those involved must wear appropriate biohazard personal protective equipment, also known as PPE. The basic elements of PPE are:

  • Goggles
  • Mask or respirator
  • Gloves
  • Apron, smock, or uniform

Securing the Scene and Removing Biohazardous Waste

Once the PPE is in place, the biohazardous materials at the scene are removed. This includes:

  • Blood
  • Other bodily fluids
  • Other biological material

In addition to these substances themselves, items that have been contaminated by them must also be removed from the scene. These items can include everything from mattresses to carpeting to other materials that ended up contaminated as a result of an unattended death.

Sanitization of Scene

After all biohazardous materials are removed from the scene, the next phase is its sanitization. The surest way to ensure that all harmful, dangerous pathogens permanently are eliminated is through the use of hospital-grade sanitizing chemicals.

Deodorization of Scene

Due to the nature of an unattended death, and the amount of time that typically lapses following that death, deodorization of the premises is the vital next step of the unattended death cleanup process. Commercial deodorization chemicals are necessary to thoroughly eradicate any odor.

Comprehensive Restoration

The ultimate objective of the unattended death cleanup process is to restore the premises to a livable condition. Professional biohazardous remediation is the best course to take when it comes to an unattended death cleanup. In the end, only a seasoned professional has the experience, coupled with the resources, necessary to fully clean up, sanitize, deodorize, and restore the scene of an unattended death to a livable or habitable condition.