The expression “Unattended Death” makes reference to a death in which a body is not found for days, weeks, or sometimes, months. With the elderly the unattended deaths are most common. A lot of times this is when an elderly person lives alone and does not have family or friends who check on them on a regular basis. Sometimes an unattended death will transpire after a suicide or a homicide.
Cleanup after an unattended death is a very specialized process that cannot be done by just any regular cleanup company. The incorrect cleanup of a property where a person has passed away and decomposed can lead to all kinds of health issues for as well as the cleanup worker as the residents moving back into the property afterwards. Areas affected with large amounts of blood and bodily fluids can hold damaging bloodborne pathogens, such as Hepatitis B, C, but also HIV, and MRSA. Knowledge, expertise, and complete attention are an absolute requirement for all our team members. Our well-trained professionals at Unattended Death Cleanup Portland will deep-clean, decontaminate and deodorize all the affected areas to ensure a property is fully remediated.
Cleanup after death is confronting and traumatic.
Some people find cleanup after death a part of the closure or a way to process grief. However, this should not be thought of as easy. People mourn and process grief in many different ways. There no universal “5- step” mourning process that can be applied to anyone. People mourn at their own pace, with their own mix of emotions, and their own cultural background defines how they view death. But in general, everyone has the same goal, which is to remember the deceased and at the same time to find a way to move on with their life.
For some people cleaning up after the death of a loved one may seem as a sensible part of the process. But this cleanup can not be compared to clearing out and putting away a deceased’ possessions.
Cleaning up after the death of a loved one is far from bittersweet, beautiful, nor satisfying. Even a “simple” death, without violence or decomposition, can be very traumatic to experience. The cleanup after a loved one can be just as traumatic as the loss itself. The property that needs to be cleaned can be medical, very messy or even hoarded, very dirty to the point where it is nauseating, and sometimes very shocking. The smells and the images with
which you will be confronted with will be hard to get rid of, and not the kind you want as a memory of your loved one.
It is even more saddening when those memories are tied to a personal property. It is therefore not unusual that people decide to move after a tragedy like this happens in their home. The room, the home, will forever be connected to a memory of what took place there.
What is human decomposition? Unattended Death Cleanup Portland
The natural process involving the breakdown of tissues after someone dies is called human decomposition.
When a body is found after an unattended death, the decomposition process has already started. This process normally sets in within 4 minutes after the hearts stops beating.
There are 4 stages to decomposition: self-digestion (autolysis), bloating, active decay, and skeletonization. Besides these four stages the rate of human decomposition varies due to temperature, moisture, pH and oxygen levels, cause of death, and body position.
As soon as the heart stops beating and the blood circulation and respiratory system stop, the body can no longer get oxygen or remove waste. An overload of carbon dioxide causes an acidic setting, causing membranes in the cells to rupture. Enzymes released by the membranes will begin to eat the cells from the inside out. The muscles will stiffen (rigor mortis). On the skin’s surface and the internal organs small blisters filled with fluid will begin to appear. Due to rupture blisters the body will seem to have a glaze layer, and the top layer of the skin will begin to come loose.
In the first stage there are enzymes leaking that produce many gases. Due to those gases the body can double in size. This will give it that bloated look. The bacteria release a sulfur-containing compound that is causing discoloration of the skin also. Additionally, insect activity a lot of times occurs.
Exceptionally unpleasant odors are formed by microorganisms and bacteria. It is because of these odors that others often are alerted that a person has died. Long after the body has been removed the odor can still remain.
The fluids being released through the cavities of the body mark the beginning of the active decay. The skin, muscles, and organs will liquify. While the soft
tissue of the body is decomposing, the cartilage, bones, hair, and the other parts of decay remain. The corpse loses the most of its mass during this stage.
There is no exact timeframe when skeletonization starts. This is because the skeleton has a decomposition percentage based on the loss of organic and inorganic contents.
Decomposition can be hazardous for your health.
Sometimes it can be days, weeks, or even months before a body is discovered.
During this period, extreme forms of unpleasant odor (forms of sulfur-dioxide) will penetrate the whole area and nestle into furniture and other items and surfaces.
Besides from the odor there is also a direct health hazard for anyone who cleans the property. The lack of knowledge and expertise can lead to all kinds of blood-born pathogen diseases. This can be Hepatitis B, C, but also HIV, and MRSA.
Cleaning up after a death is a complicated and intense job. The period of mourning is a time to reminisce, to spend time with your loved ones, and to take care of your own mental health. And that is besides all the practical things you already have to take care of after someone passes away. Why add more stress to all of this?
unfortunately, the weather can be warm in the summer which will make the decomposition process much worse. With any situation you may have, please contact Unattended Death Cleanup Portland for any emergency biohazard cleaning.
Professional cleanup after a suicide, a homicide, or an unattended death.
In contrary to what most people think, the police department is not responsible for the cleanup after a death. The police department will never cleanup the property after a death has occurred. The responsibility for that lies with the family or the property owner. Even though this responsibility lies with you, we highly recommend that you have the cleanup done by a professional specialized team.
The cleanup of a property where someone has passed away and possibly decomposed includes, but is not limited to; deep cleaning, disinfecting, removal of all biohazardous materials and items that have been affected by bodily fluids, and removal of odor. Because of the high biohazardous risk to bloodborne pathogens, the cleanup of an unattended death is a specialized service that requires appropriate training and equipment.
Once the body is found and the authorities are called, they will come and take care of removing the body from the property. Most likely a medical examiner or a coroner will be there also to assess the possible cause of death. If natural death is determined then the body will be released to the family. In case foul play or suicide is suspected an autopsy will be required. A suicide, homicide or otherwise unexpected death of a loved one or someone you know is something no one can be mentally prepared for. It is never easy. Especially when it is an unattended death. It is important that if you do happen to find a deceased person, that you know what to do. We highly recommend to have the cleanup of an unattended death done by a specialized biohazard remediation team. Doing it yourself is hazardous to your physical as well as your mental health. Our specialized team at Unattended Death Cleanup Portland is there for you 24/7 to help you through these traumatic times. You can call us at (888)263-0937. Once your call has been received by our compassionate and empathetic representative at customer service, our team will be dispatched to you as soon as possible
The Cleanup; The first step
Cleanup can start after all the officials are finished processing the property, or the so called “scene”. Our professional and specialized team at Unattended Death Cleanup Portlandis fully committed and will arrive at your property in an unmarked vehicle to guarantee your privacy.
We will then assess the situation and make a plan as to what needs to be done to get your property back to a healthy and safe place to live in again.
All visible traces of blood and bodily fluids will be removed from the affected items and areas. All items contaminated with bodily fluids that are impossible to clean will be removed and discarded of as biohazardous waste material.
Floors, walls, ceilings, subflooring, and grout etc. can all potentially be contaminated by bodily fluids and therefore are a health risk. Our trained technicians at Unattended Death Cleanup Portland will professionally deep clean, decontaminate, and deodorize every contaminated area to restore your property to a safe and livable condition.
When all the affected areas are clean and disinfected, we will start the deodorizing process at the property. This will clear out all of the odor and leave the property safe and clean.
We and our team at Unattended Death Cleanup Portland honor and respect your needs during the strenuous times of the aftermath of a suicide, homicide or an unattended death. We are here to help you and your family move past the tragedy and on your road to recovery. You can reach us 24/7 at (888)263-0937.