Unattended Death: How the Body Decomposes After Death
Among the many unusual cases of death, unattended death is the most gruesome scenario not only for the people who are acquainted with the victim but also for the victim himself to experience during his last breath. The term Unattended Death is a case of demise wherein the no one notices the dead body days, weeks, or even months after it died. And typically, it is the elders who have no family or relative to look after them who face this kind of horrible passing.
The Five Stages of Decay
A dead body decomposes after 4 minutes the person died. However, it goes through four stages first (autolysis, bloat, active decay, post decay, and skeletonization) before it decays completely and the biohazardous waste seeps into the surface where the body is. To further understand why professionals in unattended death cleanup are preferable, below are the five stages of body decomposition that needs a thorough cleaning.
First Stage: Autolysis
After the span of four-minute, the first stage of decomposing happens as bacteria inside the digestive tract starts to break the intestine down due to the enzymes inside the cells of the body gradually breaking the tissues. This process is called Autolysis. On this stage, the body is still fresh and would take up to four days before the drastic changes begin. However, the chemicals it emits during the process invite insects such as flies.
Second Stage: The Swells Up
The internal decaying inside due to bacteria digesting the intestines produces gasses that blow up the body. On this phase, the body expands as it releases harmful, rotten-smelling gasses that attract egg-laying insects such as bow flies.
Third Stage: Active Decay
As body fluids start to leak, the beginning of the third stage or active decay happens. On this phase, the gases building up inside increases the pressure within the body that forces bodily fluids to come out through any openings. But typically, it comes out from the nose or mouth. As the decay progresses, the body fluids will eventually leak through body tissues. Insects such as flesh flies, bow flies larva, house flies, and all kinds of maggots then begin to gather around and occupy the corpse due to the semiliquid environment produced during the first to the third stage of decomposition.
Fourth Stage: Post Decay
The next stage is the post decay wherein most of the human body tissues have decomposed. However, there are remains like hair, bones, cartilage, and wet sticky substances called as the byproduct of putrefaction. And at this stage, the number of insects it attracts grows. Though beetles are present, the most common insects it attracts are various kinds of flies. But this time flies that thrive in a dry environment are more abundant in number than the others.
Fifth Stage: Skeletonization
The last stage is when most tissues and the byproduct of putrefaction dried utterly, except the bones. And it is called skeletonization. And from the name itself, it is where the corpse turns into all-bones. And insect-eating bones start to feast on the remains gradually.
In the case of unattended passing, the wisest thing to do first is to look for someone whose expertise in unattended death cleanup is profound, to secure the place is harmless for future occupants.