Improper Death Cleanup – The Hidden Dangers

Typical and most probably notorious scenes where violent crimes are recorded are plays, travels, even inns. Life will never remain the same for victims of such gory crimes as seen during the tragedy of Chicago’s basketball shooting. One of the ways to initiate the healing process is to restore the tragic site to pre-crime conditions or better via a proper death cleanup routine. Just as important is to prevent the spread of blood-borne pathogens at the crime scene. Since 2000, about 40 mass shootings have been registered to be the cause of 233 injuries and 309 deaths.

It might seem that the crime scene remains are less prevalent, but that doesn’t erase the need for a proper death cleanup routine to avoid continual risks. The unknown is the amount of danger that other people are predisposed to without evacuating the biological hazards. It may come as a surprise that sites of weeks-old tragedies often pose a substantial threat to the environment. Meanwhile, the risk of coming in contact with blood-borne pathogens is best avoided.

According to a poll, an average US citizen amongst 23 others might have hepatitis B or C, or HIV. Recalling the number of cases till date, the most prevalent blood-borne diseases are Hepatitis C, MRSA, Hepatitis B, and HIV, in that order.

When death has been recorded at a crime scene and is accompanied by blood loss, most people believe it is sufficient to wash off the blood. After all, out of sight is often out of mind. But death cleanup requires more than that. Violent crime scenes cannot be disinfected with water only. Even when bleach is recommended, there are specific brands that ‘get the job done.’ Decontamination during death cleanup is as necessary as ridding the victims of the agony associated with the crime. To restore the crime scene effectively, there is need to use prescribed washing agents and tools that are specifically for blood contaminations. While MRSA can live outside the body for several months, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV can survive for seven days, four days, and four weeks respectively. In the absence of bleaching agents, any victim can contract these blood-borne diseases at a crime scene devoid of death cleanup.

When dealing with biological materials, pay cognizance to proper disinfectants that can purge out the diseases. For instance, HBV, HCV, MERSA, and HIV require broad-spectrum disinfectants. More so, you must ‘hose off the blood’ before applying disinfectant. A specific procedure in dealing with HIV-1 is to disinfect the contaminated surface and let sit for 30 seconds. For hepatitis, the time required is 10 minutes. Disinfectants should sit on contaminated areas for about 10 minutes before applying other chemicals.

The importance of death cleanup is seen in two ways – 

  1. Restoring the crime scene to reasonable condition and bestowing peace of mind on the victims and the property owners. 
  2. Putting up a shield of protection for the property owners and people living within miles of the crime scene. Death cleanup is essential (if a crime has occurred) in children’s playgrounds or public parks too.