What is an Unattended Death?

What is an Unattended Death?

The term unattended death refers to a death in which the body is not found for days, weeks, or in some cases, months. Unattended deaths happen most commonly with the elderly, especially if they reside alone and do not have family or friends that check on them regularly. In some instances, an unattended death may occur after a suicide or homicide.


Unattended Death and Decomposition

The longer a person’s remains are unattended, the further along they will be in the decomposition process.

The 3 stages of decomposition are:

Autolysis: Due to a lack of oxygen and build-up of waste, the cells of the body become stressed causing the intra-cellular pH level drops. This low pH level turns the body into an acidic environment. This results in the membranes to rupture and release enzymes that digest the cell from the inside out.

Bloat: During this stage, numerous gases are produced as bacteria, fungi and protozoa attack the dead tissue and liquefy it.

Active Decay: During the last stage of decomposition, the fat and muscles are reduced to a foul-smelling substance. Microorganisms are joined by flies and other insects that help remove the remaining soft tissue.


Cleaning Up After an Unattended Death

A decomposing body releases bacteria and toxins that can be harmful to humans and cause significant physical damage to the immediate contamination area. In the middle of summer, a decomposed body can affect a home’s liveability in as little as a few hours when the temperature rises above the mid to high 30s. Therefore, it is imperative that the scene of an unattended death be completely cleaned and sanitised.

Once an unattended death is discovered, it is usually up to the family to handle the clean-up, which can be problematic. No one should have to see a family member in one of the stages of decomposition, and the biological matter that a body leaves behind can be hazardous.


Crime Scene Cleaners Adelaide provides unattended death clean-up services to individual families, property managers, and commercial businesses. Our decontamination and sanitisation regimen ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned, sanitised and deodorised. Our expert Unattended Death Clean Up technicians are available in Adelaide and across South Australia 24/7 to assist you. Contact us today.

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  1. Brianhouts :

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