One of the most challenging things that a person can experience during the course of a lifetime is the aftermath of a violent crime scene. This type of situation typically results in the presence of blood, other bodily fluids, and other types of biological material.
These biological materials, including the blood, potentially can be contaminated with dangerous pathogens that can cause a person exposed to then to suffer serious negative health consequences. In point fact, there are pathogens that can result in an exposed person’s death.
These considerations bring a person to consider what is done following a violent crime. One of the key questions is how blood is cleaned up from a crime scene.
Contain the Scene
Of course, law enforcement will contain the crime scene in the first instance. However, once law enforcement and the coroner depending on the circumstances release the crime scene back to the owner of the property, another type of containment must occur.
A crime scene in which blood is present requires the utilization of universal protections that pertain to contact with blood. These universal precautions are set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They actually were initially implemented in the 1990s as a partial response to the AIDS pandemic.
Crime scene containment for the purposes of protecting against biohazardous materials is designed to keep individuals without personal protective equipment out of the scene. In the aftermath of a crime that results in the presence of blood, biohazardous materials can be contained in blood, bodily materials, and other biological matter. In addition, dangerous biohazardous materials including certain types of bacteria and viruses can also be airborne.
Obtain Personal Protective Equipment
Once the scene is contained, the next step of cleaning up blood at a crime scene is to put on personal protective gear. At a minimum, PPE includes:
- Apron, smock, or uniform
- Disposable gloves
Depending on the extent of blood and other issues at a crime scene, a respirator may be necessary as opposed to just a mask. A respirator provides an additional level of air filtration that can be necessary at a crime scene that is particularly awash in blood and other bodily fluids. It can also be necessary if the crime was not immediately discovered and the remains were left unattended for more than a few days.
Removal and Disposal of Blood Tainted Items at the Crime Scene
The next stage of the blood cleanup process at a crime scene is the removal of certain items containing this or other types of bodily fluids. A bloodstained mattress provides a good illustration.
In little time, a mattress can end up rather saturated with blood. One technique is to cut out the portions of a mattress containing blood. These cutaway sections are disposed of inappropriately constructed, and marked, biohazardous containers of bars. Portions of the mattress that clearly have blood or other types of contamination can be disposed of through regular waste or trash.
The contaminated portions, as is the case with anything else containing blood, must be transported and disposed of via a biohazardous waste disposal professional. (These professionals must be registered with the California Department of Health.)
Sanitization of Crime Scene
The next step is the comprehensive sanitization of the crime scene. The use of medical grade sanitizing chemicals is utilized to ensure the proper remediation of viruses and bacteria that can be associated with blood and other bodily materials at a crime scene.
The complete sanitization of a blood compromised crime scene is crucial in order to ensure that people who access the premises, whether a home or business, are kept safe going forward into the future.
Deodorization of Crime Scene
Particularly if a body associated with homicide is not immediately discovered, the deodorization of the crime scene is the next order of business. Commercial grade deodorization chemicals are utilized to accomplish this task.
Restoration of Premises to Livable or Usable Condition
All of the previously mentioned steps or stages of cleanup up blood at a crime scene are geared towards restoring the premises to a livable or usable condition. This can only truly be accomplished through the removal or eradication of all biohazardous pathogens. The overall process of eliminating these pathogens usually is referred to as biohazard remediation.