Unfortunately, delayed discovery death scenes, also called unattended deaths, are more common than most people realize. The deceased does not have to be a loner. They can be a well-loved member of a family. Imagine a situation where you call to check on an elderly aunt who lives alone in another state. You have a friendly chat and hang up the phone feeling connected and glad that you rang them. Two weeks later you decide to call again, but she doesn’t answer. Thinking that she could be at the grocery store, taking a shower, or out eating in a restaurant, you hang up the phone and don’t give it another thought. You only begin to get worried about her when you try calling again another week later. After multiple attempts over several days, you finally call the authorities to check on your aunt and discover that she has been dead for close to a month. It’s not that your aunt was unloved – quite the opposite! But in a world where it’s common to go weeks, sometimes even months, without speaking to loved ones, unattended deaths are an unfortunate reality.
Death of a loved one is always difficult, but dealing with a delayed discovery death is particularly hard. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional toll of death, but you must also deal with the reality of cleaning the impacted area. Unattended deaths can result in large areas contaminated with body fluids, blood, and dangerous bloodborne pathogens.
Family members or friends of the deceased must not consider trying to clean up the affected area. It is dangerous to the untrained, and it is also a heartbreaking undertaking that could seriously affect your mental health. It is best to remember your loved one as they were when they were alive. Our staff of experienced and trained professionals will clean, disinfect, and deodorize the area and return your loved one’s home to a livable condition so that you can begin the healing process.
What Happens During a Delayed Discovery Death?
When someone passes away alone, the body begins to decompose quickly, resulting in bodily fluids that saturate the area where they died. Harmful bacteria are released into the room and are responsible for the horrible odor that accompanies a decomposing body. Any porous materials in contact with the deceased will become saturated with body fluids.
Please note: ‘porous materials’ include things like drywall, concrete, and wood — and not just things like carpet and bedding. It’s also important to know that fluids follow gravity and will absorb through bedding, carpet, sub-floor, etc. That’s why a seemingly small stain on a carpet can reveal a much bigger problem underneath. In some cases, fluids will actually seep through into the room below the death scene.
- Depending on the condition of the person who died, it is possible to come into contact with bloodborne pathogens when near the body.
- Porous materials saturated in bodily fluids are incredibly dangerous. You should never attempt to clean porous materials. Only a bioremediation team such as Alabama Bio-Clean can safely clean and dispose of these materials.
- Traditional, store-bought cleaners will NOT safely clean, sanitize, or disinfect an unattended death scene.
- If any biological material is left untreated, the residence can be dangerous and unlivable.
Persistent odor can indicate that dangerous bacteria is in a home after a death. No one should attempt to clean a delayed discovery death scene without personal protective equipment and respirators. The bacteria in bodily fluids can make you very sick. Our Alabama Bio-Clean staff can make the home of the deceased smell as if nothing ever happened.
If you are unfortunate enough to have an unattended death of a loved one in your life, we are here to help. Our trained staff are compassionate and carry out their duties with the utmost discretion. You can count on Alabama Bio-Clean to return your loved one’s home to its clean and livable condition so that you can begin the emotional healing process.