An unattended death is when the body of a deceased individual is found days, weeks or even longer after they’ve expired. When a death occurs someone must be willing to sign a death certificate stating they are sure of its cause. Either a doctor, coroner, or medical examiner has that responsibility. If the death is “attended” meaning the victim was under a doctor’s care for the condition that took their life, or at least the doctor knew the cause for sure. If the death is “unattended” then it becomes a coroner’s or medical examiner’s case.
For companies like us at MSI, the cleanup of an unattended death is very difficult and could pose many challenges. As the body goes through the various stages of decomposition, bodily fluids and other potentially infectious materials are released which can cause the home owners and the remediation technicians serious illnesses. Attempting to cleanup these type of losses isn’t suggested, nor is allowing an unexperienced company who isn’t properly trained and certified either.
Unattended death cleanup could take a few hours to a few days, as decontaminating all affected surfaces can be more difficult than most assume. There has been cases where an individual who died in their sleep and was found two days later omitted bodily fluids through the bed, barely reaching a tiled floor in a basement, whereas another case we’ve been apart of had an individual die on a third floor and was found three weeks later. This case saw bodily fluids actually leak through multiple floors and wall cavities and required not only major cleaning, but a significant amount of demolition.
Each case of unattended death is quite different than the other, but one thing is for sure; only a certified and and insured company should handle these types of cleanups. There are various dangers allowing anyone to cleanup an unattended death and this type of mitigation should not be taken likely. If a family member or friend unexpectedly dies, it is a very trying time, but be sure to remember that unattended death cleanup should always be handled by a trusted company who can arrive promptly and assure the property is safe of any future hazards.