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Unattended Death

Rate of decomposition depends on temperature, humidity and other factors.  A corpse starts to decompose about 15 minutes after the heart stops. unattended death While alive, animals have a lining in the intestinal track that protects against acids and bacteria that would otherwise be harmful.  After death, this lining breaks down and the bacteria that live in the intestinal track start consuming the body.  In addition, bacteria in the intestines produce gas as a waste product.  Because of this gas, the body begins to bloat.  If this gas reaches critical proportions, the tract and then the body ruptures and bodily fluids and waste products drain out.

Insects are present throughout this process. Flies will sense the death and lay eggs in soft tissue such as wounds, eyes, nose, mouth, and other.  The eggs develop into larvae, which then develop into maggots. These maggots consume the soft tissue, mature into flies, lay more eggs, and the cycle repeats.

The odor from various fluids and waste permeates everything that is porous.  All carpeting and other fabrics have to be removed.  Even wooden items may be soaked in bodily fluids.  These fluids do not evaporate and can take years to dry.  All items affected in this way must be removed and disposed.

unattended death

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