What is an unattended death? Unattended deaths are defined as deaths where the body isn’t found for days. This often happens when the individual lives alone, is a senior citizen, or has a medical condition. Rarely, unattended deaths are the result of a suicide or even a homicide.
If you discovered your loved one passed and their death was unattended, there are many steps you must take. While this is a difficult time, it’s crucial you follow these steps. This is especially true if the unattended death may be a cause for an investigation.
Mistakes That Families Make With an Unattended Death
Before going over the steps you need to take after an unattended death, it’s best to address common mistakes that family members make. Avoiding these mistakes will make the process run smoothly and ensures you won’t interfere in a possible unattended death investigation.
Cleaning the Scene Yourself
It’s important to leave the death scene cleanup to professionals, as we will discuss later in the article. Handling blood and bodily fluids can be dangerous to your health. In addition, you risk tampering with evidence that may be useful in a potential investigation.
In addition, most household cleaning products aren’t enough to properly clean body liquids and sanitize the home. This leaves the home dangerous for future residents. EPA-rated cleaning agents are necessary to clean and sanitize these areas.
Lastly, the average person doesn’t have experience cleaning up after death. It’s best to leave this to the professionals. But not just any professionals — only a qualified death cleanup company. Be sure the cleaning company you choose has experience in death cleanup scenes and has the proper training.
You’ll also want to find a hazard cleaning company that lives in your area. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay extra for travel costs.
Moving Back in Immediately
If your loved one died in their property or your home, it’s best to not settle in immediately or sell it to a new owner. Even after the professional cleaning crew does their job, the home may still not be safe. In addition, some decomposition smells may still linger and will be sickening for anyone.
Forgetting About Your Mental Health
Any death is difficult, but especially an unattended death. While you have a lot on your plate, don’t forget about your mental health. You’ll likely go through a whirlwind of emotions, which is why it’s important to try to remain as calm as possible.
You may feel depressed, even vulnerable. Many people also get angry and some even abuse substances. The best thing to do is to go through all the stages of grief. If necessary, see a counselor or therapist.
Another reason why it’s important to see a therapist is you’ll have a lot of responsibilities and decisions to make. Keeping an open and clear mind will ensure you handle this tough situation responsibly.
What You Should Do in the Event of an Unattended Death
As you can see, there are many factors to consider after the death of a loved one, such as a proper unattended death cleanup. If you discovered a loved one passed, there are many steps that you must take. Here’s our unattended death checklist.
Call First Responders
The minute you discover a loved one died, no matter the cause, contact first responders. They will handle the body with utmost care and will deliver the body promptly to the coroner. From here, the coroner will record the cause of death.
Transport the Body
After the coroner determines the cause of death, you’ll be responsible for transporting the body if foul play isn’t suspected.
This depends on the loved one’s wishes. For example, if they wish to be cremated, they have to be transported to a crematorium. But there are times when you’ll need to contact a mortuary, instead.
Contact Anyone Important to the Deceased
This is the time when you’ll need your loved ones more than anything. It’s also important to notify anyone significant in your loved one’s life, such as their employer and friends. If you’re not sure who any of these people are, you can likely find this information on social media.
Stay Out of the Scene
While the first responders are doing their job, it’s important you stay out of the scene and let them do their job.
Another reason to stay out of the scene is you don’t know what stage of the decomposition process the body is in. When someone dies, their body releases chemicals that not only continue the decomposition process but also induce decay and bloating.
In addition, bacteria may be present. Bacteria are often airborne and are harmful when inhaled. All of this needs to be cleaned and handled by professionals.
Call a Hazardous Cleanup Company
After the professionals take away the body, you’ll want to ensure the space is suitable enough to live in — whether the family will live in the home or whether you sell it.
Don’t attempt to clean the scene on your own. Call a professional cleaning company that is professionally trained to clean and sanitize a crime scene that may contain blood, bloodborne pathogens, bodily fluids, and other hazards.
While a hazardous cleanup company will try and preserve the home as much as they can, there are times when they will have to throw out belongings and furniture. That’s because some unattended deaths can harm the home and belongings, making them unsafe for future residents.
Some unattended deaths may also cause damage to the walls and flooring. On rare occasions, they may cause damage to the home’s structure.
Call a Hazard Cleaning Company for an Unattended Death
Dealing with an unattended death is never easy. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make is handling the cleanup yourself. Since you’re dealing with bodily fluids and dangerous bacteria, only professionals should handle this cleanup. 360 Hazardous Cleanup’s team of professionals is the team you want on your side. They follow all OSHA & CDC regulations, as well as local, state, and federal guidelines.
No Family Left Behind is the motto they stand behind. Offering 24/7/365 services, they will be on scene within a matter of hours for an assessment. Call the professionals today to help you navigate a personal and traumatic process.