Monday, January 13, 2014

What to do when you discover an unattended death

An unattended death can create a very problematic scene for medical professionals, police and even death clean up services like BioScene Clean Up.  It’s important to know that there is so much more to this type of scene than just removal of the body.

An unattended and / or decomposing body leaves not only visual, but microscopic trace elements of dangerous contaminants that can potentially be harmful, if not fatal to someone who comes in contact with them.  In these types of scenes you’ll frequently see a visual evidence of blood, tissue and other body fluids. Make no mistake, the visual evidence of these elements is on the surface.  While a thorough cleaning is needed it’s often necessary to remove certain components from the scene such as floor coverings, sub-floors, walls and other affected areas in order to remediate the scene to a pre-incident, safe condition.

Handling this type of death scene requires a company that has extensive training in the proper procedures for death clean up, the use of OSHA approved chemicals and proper removal protocols of the scene’s debris.  

To ensure your safety and that proper protocol is followed we never suggest attempting to clean a death scene yourself.  BioScene Clean Up is familiar with insurances processes and in most cases, insurance policies cover the costs of our services.

Here’s a simple list to follow if you discover an unattended death:

1. Call the police to report what you found and wait for their arrival.  Make certain that you obtain a business card from the investigating officer, you’ll need this information in the future.

 2. When the coroner is contacted also make certain that you obtain a business card from this individual as well.

3. Call Bio Scene Clean Up at 813-252-0796 so we can schedule and dispatch a technician. The longer you delay in clean up. Depending on the length of time of death or state of decomposition, will determine the amount of time needed to restore the scene to a safe condition for you.

4. Please do not enter the scene and attempt to collect items. This will most likely lead to your becoming more traumatized than you may already be. A professional can retrieve items for you.

5. If you know the name of the insurance company and/or policy number, please have this information available if it is readily accessible. This will enable our technicians to reach out to you’re the insurance company and provide any information needed.

6. If you are not the property owner, business you’ll be asked to provide that information. In most cases a "Permission to Enter" form must be executed prior to the clean up process beginning.

7. DO NOT attempt to clean any areas of the scene. Contact with biohazards, such as blood and fluids, may expose you to risks that could result in death or serious illnesses. We are trained professionals skilled in restoring the environment to safe conditions for you.

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