Our society is much more mobile than it used to be; staying in one city for a lifetime is now the exception and not the rule. Extended family may live in another state; they lead busy lives, and have families of their own. When a distant relative passes away and the death goes undiscovered for many days, sometimes even months, feelings of sorrow can combine with other complex sentiments such as regret. Add to this the frustrations of handling the nuances of complicated situation at a distance, and what is already a difficult scenario becomes emotionally and mentally exhausting.
Case Study: An Unattended Death In Chicago
When a man was found deceased in his apartment in downtown Chicago, grieving family members struggled to pick up the pieces. In addition to planning a funeral, notifying other relatives, and dealing with the affairs of the estate, the family faced another challenge: because of the manner of the man’s death, unattended death cleanup was needed to return the man’s apartment to safe, healthy condition. Fortunately, a helpful funeral director recommended relatives to Aftermath for assistance.
While death itself is not dangerous, decomposition in an enclosed space such as an apartment or other residence can lead to bacteria growth, odors, and even structural damage to the property. Furthermore, some types of bloodborne pathogens can survive for weeks after the individual passed on. And while we like to believe we know the full medical history of our loved ones, the truth is that there are many infectious diseases that can remain undetected for years. For this reason, the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard advocates that all blood and bodily fluids be treated as potentially infectious. This standard effects the way blood spills are treated, and while it is difficult to enforce these healthy standards on home owners, biohazard cleanup companies like Aftermath are educated to conform to this and other state and local regulations that affect cleanup and waste disposal. Their care and consideration helps ensure that the space is safe for future occupants; it also helps protect the family from possible exposure to bacteria and frees them to concentrate on other important matters.
In this case, the deceased went unattended for approximately 2-3 weeks before his body was discovered. Heavily pooled biological fluid was found on a chair and carpeting in the living room area. A strong odor associated with decomposition of biological fluid and material saturated the entire apartment. Because of the smell, all personal belongings were removed and disposed of. Furniture and other surfaces affected by biological materials had to be disassembled and remediated as medical waste, including carpeting.
Once the floors were bare, technicians could better assess the situation. Finding that the damage had affected the floorboards, technicians used power tools to remove the severely affected surfaces. Though not dangerous in and of itself, this equipment can be hard to manage while wearing the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Other challenges techninicans experience may include the environment (suits are warm enough, and almost unbearable in 90 degree weather), and the condition of the property itself. Luckily, the high rise building was well-maintained and the temperature was controlled, so technicians were able to work swiftly and efficiently to restore the apartment to its original condition.
An Expression of Thanks
When the work was complete, Jim presented the paperwork to the client for review. In addition to expressing complete satisfaction, the customer wrote a message on the paperwork to Jim and his staff, thanking them for their hard work and support during a difficult time. Overall, the team and the customer were satisfied with a job well done.
But that’s not all.
One year to the date, while attending a funeral director’s conference, Jim received another message from the customer. Once again, she reiterated her original sentiment and thanked Aftermath for being on hand to help. It’s hard to imagine cleaning a home after the unexpected death of a loved one – the customer was glad to have Aftermath on her side. Her words drove home the importance of biohazard cleanup, and the positive and long-term impact it can have on a family in need. It was a proud moment for Jim and his team, and leant discussions an extra level of sincerity as Jim shared the story with funeral directors who had never used the company’s service.
It’s Why We Do What We Do
Aftermath Services has been in the business of helping families for nearly 20 years. What began as brothers trying to help a neighbor recover from a tragedy led to a professional cleanup company that offers help to thousands of customers nationwide. The road to healing and recovery is long – and we’re glad to be your partner along the way.
If you’re already an Aftermath customer and have something to share about the service, call us directly at 877-872-4339, or review the service location on Yelp or Angie’s List. Aftermath reviews all testimonials, letters, and emails we receive in order to ensure the highest quality service and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, every job we perform is backed by a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. To see what others have said about Aftermath Services, visit the Aftermath testimonials page.