Losing a loved one is simply tragic.
No one should be faced with the cleanup after the loss of a loved one. After the police leave and sirens fade, you should not be left alone to clean the scene.
The emotional trauma is simply too much to bear. This is where after-death cleaning services help you during this extremely difficult time.
Decompositions are often more difficult for the family due to the overwhelming malodor. These scenes are nearly impossible for the family to enter and retrieve any important documents, keys, etc. due to the malodor and heavy fly infestation. Professional clean-up companies will bear that task for you.
After donning all required personal protective gear, the experts will enter the property and gather documents or important items on your behalf, before disinfecting any non-porous items and provide them to the family.
Once we get your authorization to provide services, we begin the decontamination process. We start with the lead technician debriefing all other technicians on the scope of work. This ensures there is no miscommunication between the property owner and us.
Next, we disinfect and remove the biohazard contaminants. After properly bagging, boxing, and labeling all biohazard waste, we carefully and diligently inspect and remove any cross-contamination due to any first responders or fly activity.
Our final step is to treat the malodor and sanitize the entire property with disinfectant foggers. As grim as all this information seems to be, you must be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Now, let’s go over the condition of the body during decomposition.
What Is Involved in the Decomposition Process?
The decomposition process represents a truly unsettling aspect of the aftermath of an unattended death. The decomposition process is what underpins the potential exposure of people who come into contact with the scene of the death to potential biohazardous materials, including blood-borne pathogens.
Contemplating the decomposition process is unpleasant. Nonetheless, if you find yourself facing an unattended death, you need to have a basic understanding of what is involved in this process.
The human body contains tremendous amounts of bacteria. Indeed, bacteria in the body outnumber the cells that make up a human being. A considerable percentage of that bacteria is found in the pancreas and the intestines of a living human being. Within any living person, there can be between 500 and 1,000 different types of bacteria in the “guts” of a person.
The moment a person dies, the nutrient supply to these untold numbers of bacteria is cut off. Thus, bacteria look somewhere else for these vital nutrients.
The bacteria within the body, specifically in the pancreas and intestines, begin to “feed on” the organs themselves. Between 24 and 48 hours, bacteria in an unattended body cause these organs to completely break down. When these organs disintegrate, bacteria flood the remainder of the body.
At this time, decomposition begins to become evident on the exterior of a body through:
- Release of gases
A bit beyond the two-day mark, the skin encompassing the body will begin to break down, eventually causing tears and ultimately gashes through which biohazardous liquids will be excreted from inside the remains.
Ultimately, because of the manner in which decomposition occurs, dangerous pathogens are released into the area surrounding the body via bodily fluids and into the air through dangerous gases.
What Should I Do If I Discover an Unattended Death?
If you are in the difficult position of discovering the aftermath of an unattended death, you need to do two things immediately:
- Remove yourself from the immediate scene of the death to protect your own safety
- Call the police at 999 to obtain assistance from appropriate emergency personnel
While your immediate instinct may be to go to the side of the deceased individual, particularly if it is a family member or other loved one, you must not do that. You run too great a risk of exposing yourself to potentially harmful biohazardous substances. You will have time, later on, to appropriately mourn the loss of your loved one.
You also need to do your best to secure the scene until emergency personnel arrives. In other words, you need to keep other individuals away from the scene of death. This is necessary to keep them safe and to preserve the scene in the event some sort of crime resulted in the demise of the deceased individual.
Depending on what preliminary determination is made about the cause of death, the scene can be treated in different ways. For example, if there is evidence suggesting the death was the result of homicide, the police, and the coroner’s office will spend time collecting evidence at the scene.
The body will be transported to the coroner’s office for forensic examination. This process can include a number of steps, including an autopsy and perhaps other laboratory tests. In most cases, the remains will be available for release within 24 to 48 hours.
If you are a family member of the deceased, you will have 72 hours to arrange for the transport of the body from the coroner’s office to the funeral home. When you engage the services of a funeral home to care for the remains, the mortuary will undertake transport when notified to do so.
You may not immediately get a final determination of the cause of death. If additional laboratory testing is needed, that process can take six weeks or longer. The coroner will nonetheless issue a death certificate, with the cause of death listed as pending for the time being. A death certificate is necessary to proceed with the disposition of the remains of the deceased person and to commence the probate process, if necessary.
Process Of After Death Clean Up
1. Establishing a Safety Zone
Before beginning, the cleaning company will establish a safety zone. Its purpose is to prevent the contaminated matter from spreading beyond the suicide site into other areas. It also helps family and friends know where they shouldn’t go until the job is finished.
2. Consulting the Family
The aftermath is never easy to deal with. Professional cleaners are compassionate, supportive individuals. They will usually provide assistance and let families understand the cleanup process and what will happen. Families should sound out their concerns or questions during this time.
3. Removing Irreparably Damaged Materials
The cleanup starts with the removal of all materials that cannot be sanitized, repaired, and restored. Cleaners try to perform this task as quickly as possible, to prevent the contamination from spreading and affecting other structures. All contaminated porous materials must be removed, including the following:
Contaminated items will be handled and disposed of in a safe, controlled manner. Professional cleaners follow the strict regulations that pertain to biohazard waste transportation.
4. Cleaning and Sealing of Salvageable Structures
If bodily fluids have penetrated to the subfloor, part of this structure may also need to be removed. Otherwise, anything salvageable will be carefully sanitized with specialized cleaners designed to break down bodily fluids for removal. To ensure the safety of the occupants, the building’s remaining subfloor and walls might be sealed after a thorough cleaning. Once the cleaners have finished, construction contractors can be called in to make the final repairs or structural restorations.
Lumiair provides professional after-death cleaning up services in Singapore as well as many other types of decontamination services. Talk to us today.