What Does Unattended Death Mean?

An unattended death occurs when an individual dies alone. Typically, the remains of a person who dies from an unattended death are not immediately discovered. This type of death often means a relatively considerable amount of time lapses between the death and the discovery of the deceased person’s body.

The most common types of situations in which an unattended death occurs include:

  • Suicide
  • Sudden health issue (like a fatal heart attack or stroke)
  • Decedent lived alone
  • Accident
  • Homicide

Unattended Death Deceased Remains

The first step upon discovering unattended death deceased remains is to immediately notify appropriate authorities. In most cases, this involves calling 911 and reporting the situation. Appropriate personnel, including law enforcement officials in some instances, will be dispatched to the scene. The unattended death remains usually are transported to the coroner’s office.

Unattended Death Scene Cleanup and Remediation

Once an unattended death is discovered, and authorities are notified, the task of cleanup usually falls upon the family of the deceased or the owner of the premises in which the individual died. Facing the prospect of cleaning up following the discovery of an unattended death can prove to be highly problematic.

Depending on the circumstances, the remains of a deceased person can begin to decay at a rapid rate. This results in the release of harmful airborne bacteria and other biological material in a very short time. If a person is not properly trained and wearing suitable protective gear, this bacteria and biological material can harm an individual cleaning the premises. In addition, if the harmful material is not properly remediated and restored, a person living in a residence will continue to be exposed to it. A home’s future habitability and safety can be affected for an extended period of time.

In the grand scheme of things, an unattended death means that professional remediation specialists need to be retained. These professionals have the skills, tools, and resources to properly clean, remediate, sanitize, deodorize, and restore the scene of an unattended death.