Vacations can be full of surprises. Indeed, surprises represent more than half the fun of leaving home for a faraway destination, either in your vehicle or by modern air transport. But all too often, the surprises can turn out to be not so nice.
For instance, if you’re traveling by car, there’s a distinct possibility that you could be hit head- on or T-boned by a negligent driver. According to BB&G, a wrongful death attorney in Chicago, outright negligence on the nation’s highways and roads causes thousands of unlawful deaths every year. They are one of the major causes of death in the U.S., with more than 30,000 fatalities occurring every year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
But dying on the road isn’t the only way you can be seriously injured or even die while on vacation. You can be seriously hurt in a hot air balloon crash or come into contact with a stingray or a shark while surfing the ocean. You can get serious food poisoning, or you can experience a very bad skiing accident that can land you in the emergency room. And, believe it or not, you can even die in your hotel room.
According to a recent report by Georgia Clean Trauma Services, hotels are synonymous with fun and relaxation. But they can all too often be places where travelers suddenly pass away. Whether the death is caused by murder, suicide, or simply natural causes, more people die in hotel rooms every year than you would think. When that happens, a trauma services company is called in to clean up the mess that’s left behind, especially if a stabbing or gunshot wound was involved.
In an effort to protect their reputation, most hotels won’t advertise the deaths that have taken place on their property, unless, that is, it was a famous guest from decades past like Errol Flynn or Ernest Hemingway. That said, here’s what you need to know about sudden deaths in a hotel room, directly from the mouths of the people entrusted to clean them, post-mortem.
Hotel Room Death Happens Far More Often than You Might Think
Maybe you don’t think about death the moment you walk into your hotel room, but it happens way too often. At times, people can suffer a heart attack while enjoying room service. Or they can die in their sleep. Still others combine alcohol with valium and other sleep medications and end up overdosing.
Violent crime is another way people die in hotel rooms. Other times, depressed people will check into a hotel room with the intent to shoot themselves. In this manner, they spare their family from having to view the mess that’s left behind. The hotel staff will usually discover thebody either during the act itself (gunshots are loud), or the next morning when house-keeping arrives.
Violent crime, physical abuse, and domestic abuse are yet more reasons people die in hotel rooms. Once the death is discovered, local law enforcement officials are called in to investigate the situation.
Almost All Hotel Room Items Require Replacement
While it depends on the type of death that occurred and the biohazards left behind, most hotel room items will require replacement. This is for the protection of future guests. For example, a gunshot wound to the head can spray blood, bone, and brain matter over a large area. Small droplets can even enter the HVAC system. Sheets, towels, artwork, electronics, and wooden furniture might all be stained.
Also, bathroom grout, carpeting, and drywall might require removal and replacement. Blood will soak into these items and ruin them forever. The blood will also attract insects like flies and worms.
Some Hotels Fail to Make Sure the Rooms are Properly Cleaned
While most hotels across the U.S. and Europe will make certain all issues involving a sudden hotel room death are properly cleaned up according to safety regulations, there is the occasional hotel or motel that will cut corners by using untrained people to clean up the mess.
But only trained and experienced professional trauma service cleaners are aware of all the places blood and bodily fluids can travel, such as gaps in the floor and behind the toilet. Professionals also utilize industrial-grade cleaners and disinfectants that hotels do not keep on site. Everyday housekeeping staff should never be placed in charge of cleaning up after a death in a hotel room, especially a violent one.
Vacations and travel can be a lot of fun. Chances are, you will never experience a hotel room death personally or as a witness. But they do happen…more often than you think.