Post-death cleaning, bioremediation and sterilisation in ambulances
The death of a patient is an event that the ambulance crew must take into account, and when it occurs they must determine procedures for cleaning, bioremediation and sterilisation of the sanitary compartment and medical equipment used
Post-death cleaning of the ambulance
At the end of the mission, the ambulance must first of all be decontaminated of the biological material of the deceased patient, and this also includes the sterilisation of surfaces, medical supplies and equipment that came into contact with the patient during the medical procedure.
In this situation, sanitisation, decontamination and space reclamation are required.
Post-Death Ambulance Cleaning Process
With the passing of a patient in an ambulance, it is necessary to activate sanitisation protocols promptly; the process steps include cleaning, disinfection, decontamination and deodorisation of the affected cabin to restore hygienic conditions.
These types of environments can be contaminated with large amounts of blood and body fluids that may contain harmful blood-borne pathogens, including HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and MRSA.
In general terms, the term ‘bioremediation’ is quite common, referring to extraordinary protocols compared to standard cleaning.
Due to the high risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens, bioremediation is a specialised service that requires appropriate training, equipment, certification and licensing.
The 5 Phases of Ambulance Bioremediation
Phase 1 – Inspection and Assessment: Initial analysis and inspection, followed by an employee safety risk assessment;
Stage 2 – Control: Cross-contamination protocol to control the ‘affected’ area, protecting it and separating it from other parts of the vehicle;
Stage 3 – Removal: Removal of all visible traces of blood and/or biological materials. This is the most dangerous phase of the clean-up process;
Step 4 – Cleaning and Decontamination: Clean, disinfect, sterilise, deodorise any affected surfaces using certified disinfectants;
Step 5 – Final Verification: Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing to ensure hospital-level disinfection standards.