An unattended death often occurs in solitude. It can often take several days before somebody suspects that something is wrong. When phone calls, text messages and emails go unanswered, friends, family members and landlords check in on the person at home, only to find that they’ve passed. If you’ve been in this position, you’re not alone. Whether an intentional act, or due to living alone the reality of unattended death happens more often than you might think in our community.
Discovering an unattended death can be an emotionally wrenching experience. It’s even more traumatic when the victim is a loved one. Although you may feel obligated to clean up the remains yourself, it is in your best interest to protect yourself from possible disease and liability by allowing a certified company to assist you during this time.
For one, it’s dangerous. Body fluids from corpses can release dangerous pathogens into the immediate area, creating a hazard for anyone without personal protective gear. To understand why this happens, you need to know how the decomposition process of the human body works. When someone dies, bacteria in the body lose the nutrients that keep them sustained. They look for other food sources to nourish themselves, and end up settling on the organs. These organs, which include the liver, the pancreas and the intestinal tract, are broken down with remarkable speed. To put this feeding process into perspective, there are trillions of bacteria in our bodies. That averages to about four pounds of bacteria for a 200-pound adult. Operating all at once, bacteria remove all the organs from the body within a 48-hour window.
Depending on the temperature and humidity of the room, the skin will begin to tear within this timeframe, allowing biohazardous materials to seep from the body. Rising pressure from the body’s gasses will quicken the process, releasing a terrible odor that’s often referred to as the stench of death. Sometimes, these gases will even cause the body to explode. As harmful pathogens pool on the floor, they release noxious gasses into the air, which can be inhaled through the nose and mouth. People who haven’t been trained to deal with biohazard remediation should remove themselves from the scene to escape these fumes and other threats from the decomposing body. Although it may not be obvious, people who approach a body without safety equipment risk exposing themselves to disease. Proper precautions must be taken, which brings us to another reason you shouldn’t embark on this endeavor yourself. This is why it is important to ask a certified company to remediate it for you and to ask if their technicians have been certified in bloodborne pathogen training.
You likely don’t have the training, equipment, or certifications to safely and legally dispose of human remains. Gloves, goggles, respirators and body suits are necessary to protect yourself against airborne and bloodborne pathogens. But they’re not enough to keep you safe. Bio-One of Tucson follows a regimented process to sanitize the area safely and effectively. The chemicals allotted to clean decomposing bodies are regulated by the state. Thus, over-the-counter solutions simply aren’t powerful enough to remove and decontaminate body fluids soaked into the floor. While a surface may look clean, harmful pathogens will linger behind and pose a threat to others if the proper chemicals haven’t been used. Our certified technicians have the training and materials to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect an area contaminated by biohazardous waste. Moreover, they carry chemicals that can effectively deodorize the scene, which often proves difficult to do for death odors. Additionally, Biohazardous materials must be transported and disposed of in compliance with state and federal guidelines. It is imperative that you hire a company that is licensed to transport and disposed of correctly.
Additionally, many times the cost to remediate an unattended death is covered through Homeowners Insurance. We are experts in helping you navigate the insurance claim process to incur the least amount of financial stress during an already stressful time.
Bio-One is available 24 / 7 / 365 at (520)-771-5960 to speak with you regarding this or any of the services we provide. We pride ourselves in handling the hard part of the clean up so that you can focus on the happy memories of your loved one. We complete this work across the nation with compassion and confidentiality. Give us a call if you have any questions and we will help you.