You may have seen this sort of scene depicted in murder mysteries and crime dramas alike – the crime scene of a gruesome or otherwise violent murder. And in these TV shows or movies, you may have seen characters in these depictions wear goggles, masks, gloves, and white or light blue suits made out of a plastic-looking material. More often than not, these characters are portrayals of real-life forensic scientists, and they are required to wear all of that equipment at all times while on the crime scene. Outside of police work, you may have also seen that equipment set worn by a third party tasked with cleaning up leftover blood from crime scenes or areas where an accident occurred. In both cases, forensic scientists and cleaners do this to keep themselves from coming into contact with hazardous objects in the area, the most dangerous of which is blood.
But let’s say something happened that resulted in the spilling of a sizable amount of blood – say, a backyard experiment went wrong, resulting in the spillage of a bucket of animal blood all over your workshop or shed. Although you might think it is not a big deal for you to clean the mess up on your own, it is strongly advised that you not do so and call a professional cleanup service instead. Why, you might ask? Why can’t I just do it myself?
Before we get to the topic at hand, let’s first establish why blood is considered dangerous in the first place. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States (CDC) classifies blood as a biohazard, a biological substance that causes or is otherwise likely to cause harm to humans. Other common biohazards include bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. As you might notice, blood seems to be the odd one out in this list, as on its own it is simply a bodily fluid. However, blood is still classified as a biohazard because of how it is capable of harbouring a wide range of unique diseases that can only be transmitted through blood. Some of the most well-known of these diseases include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Even if it may not contain any of these aforementioned, there is still a very long list of diseases that are transmitted by contact with blood, which is why it can’t just be cleaned the same way that you deal with other types of stains. Besides that, blood is a fluid, which means that it will tend to seep into cracks and crevices, as well as get absorbed into carpets and upholstery, making any affected area with fabrics, porous stones, or similar materials especially difficult to clean and disinfect.
Another alarming characteristic of blood becomes evident after the incident has occurred. A lot of people might assume that dried blood is no longer a hazard as it has dried up, but in truth, dried blood is just about as dangerous as the fresh kind. According to the CDC, the hepatitis C virus can survive outside the body for up to four days, while the hepatitis B virus can survive on dried blood for up to a week. And regardless of whether or not the blood has completely dried up, these pathogens can still be contracted by any person that comes into contact with it.
Let’s now apply this knowledge to our hypothetical blood spill. You as the average person should get as far away from the affected area as possible, and barricade the area to prevent anyone else from coming into contact with the potentially infected blood. As you leave, make sure to keep the blood from making contact with any exposed part of your body as well as any clothes you may be wearing, as most fabrics will absorb the blood and put you at risk of infection. Even if you avoid making any direct contact with the blood, it is possible that invisible droplets of blood have sprayed into the air and made contact with you regardless. When this happens, immediately wash any open areas of skin or body parts such as the eyes, nose, and ears with soap and water, then contact emergency services or go to the nearest hospital to get yourself screened for possible infections.
Once you have made sure that you and anyone else that could gain access to the contaminated area are all safe, your next step should be to contact a professional blood cleanup service like The Aftercare that will have the right equipment and tools for cleaning and disinfecting bloodstained areas, as well as the qualifications and training for handling, storing, and disposing of hazardous materials like blood.
Why choose The Aftercare?
The Aftercare is a professional bioremediation firm providing a host of emergency and biohazard cleaning services to thousands of homes and businesses throughout Virginia and North Carolina. We have nearly 20 years of experience in the recovery, removal, and disposal of various hazardous substances, including blood, waste, and sewage, and our work has extended to a wide range of environments, cleaning up after accidents, hoarding cases, sewage spaces, basements, attics, jail cells, crime scenes, and more. Our technicians are all trained according to OSHA and EPA regulations on the proper handling and disposal of hazardous substances, and can work with precision and efficiency to clean after the things that you should never have to.
Accidents can happen at any place and at any time, and some in particular can hit a bit too hard and a bit too close to home. Regardless of the circumstances, The Aftercare is always ready to respond to any emergency calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year – even on holidays – and we pride ourselves on our rapid response, with our teams capable of reaching your area in no longer than 2 hours. If you are ever in need of our services, don’t hesitate to call us at 757-535-4367 for a free estimate.