23 Jun Mortuary Decontamination
At BioDecon we operate projects in a lot of different settings. For example, we work in hospital operating theatres, food production lines, pharmaceutical warehouses, nursing homes and at crime scenes. One surprising location we are called to more often than you would think is mortuaries.We work with mortuaries in hospitals, and in respite centres, providing a full decontamination process to ensure a sterile environment.
Sterility in mortuaries means bodies are preserved longer, and there is no passage of infection to staff and anyone entering the facility. In January 2017 we were called to a small mortuary attached to a hospital and cancer respite centre. The standard practice for the hospital was that bodies were moved by the undertaker during the day, or porters during the night.The mortuary had not been decontaminated in some time, and there had been patients go through with infectious diseases, so there was a fear there may be pathogenic microorganisms present in the mortuary.
The process of decontaminating the mortuary
Mortuaries are a great location for decontamination by experts. In many situations, we are met with a complex environment, filled with sick patients, or staff running a business. In mortuaries, all we need to ask is that the undertaking staff stay out, and the bodies are removed. This makes the process smoother than many projects we work on.
A full decontamination
Our decontamination procedures use the compound hydrogen peroxide. The chemical formula of hydrogen peroxide is two hydrogen atoms bound to two oxygen atoms. It is a highly noxious substance, and so we made sure the room was sealed off, and that no one was going to enter. We worked with the hospital management team to ensure we had full access, and the people knew a toxic substance was being used.
We use chemical decontamination because it is, in our opinion, the only way to ensure you eliminate and destroy pathogenic microorganisms. Resistant organisms have developed and are no longer affected by some of the traditional cleaning methods, just as they are not affected by modern antibiotics. MRSA, for example, is a highly resistant superbug that is very difficult to eliminate.
Following the sealing off of the mortuary, our engineers, complete with decontamination suits and masks, entered the area with their 22 kg lightweight canister dispensers on their backs and treated the whole area with hydrogen peroxide vapour. Due to the size of the area, the process took around 90 minutes. Following this, the environment was still toxic for a period. However, over time the second oxygen atom in hydrogen peroxide breaks the bond, and all that you are left with is water (H2O). When we re-entered the room, we tested areas for decontamination and found that there was no presence of microorganisms to a 6 log reduction level.
This meant the mortuary was sterile to the same level expected in hospitals. Following the completion of the process, we did a deep clean, and thorough tidy up to ensure the place was exactly how it should be, and provided a report to the hospital management team. We suggested they didn’t leave the decontamination process so long next time and scheduled a cleanup programme, and regular deep cleans in between decontamination’s. If you’re looking for a decontamination partner to work on a mortuary, then get in touch with BioDecon.
We are on the phone to offer you advice and guidance and provide you with free consultations and quotations. We have a vast experience in mortuary decontamination and can demonstrate our expertise through a number of case studies. If you want to find out more about how we can help you then call us on 01904 405959.