Bed bugs infest Oregon hospital’s main lobby and offices

by nobugsonme on September 25, 2008 · 8 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs in the workplace, hospitals

Bed bugs have infested the main lobby and nearby offices in the Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland. Staff saw bed bugs crawling from a patient’s fanny pack:

Hoping to squash a bedbug incursion, Oregon Health & Science University Hospital has sealed off part of its main lobby for decontamination after discovering the insects escaping from a patient’s belongings Saturday.

Hospital staff spotted the unwelcome visitors crawling from a fanny pack that had been stored for safekeeping with other patients’ belongings for two weeks, according to a hospital spokeswoman. A search revealed more bugs in the offices surrounding the patient admitting area.

I hope all the other patients’ belongings were inspected and treated.

The good news is the hospital seems to be taking bed bugs seriously:

“We talked to our outside experts who deal with bugs, and they said you need to treat it aggressively and quickly,” Liana Haywood, a spokeswoman, said.

They’re taking all office furniture offsite for “decontamination,” though it isn’t stated how the lobby and offices are being treated.

Haywood also said,

“We don’t have any estimates exactly on the costs,” she said. “We decided it’s more important to protect patients and employees rather than let it become a lingering problem.”


You can read the full article from the Oregonian here.

Update (9/26):

Watch the fascinating video from WNCT in Oregon, here.

It looks like the footage someone forgot to edit. There’s no voiceover, just video of the hospital lobby and bed bugs in a jar, and soundbites from several unnamed sources: a hospital administrator (saying bed bugs “really do not pose any type of health threat”) juxtaposed with those of a PCO or entomologist Philipp Kirsch, who says, “there are many people that have very strong dermal reactions to the bites”.

The latter also states, “we treat them as if they’re anthrax, or some exotic virus… It really is a tsunami that is coming. They’re going to be everywhere.”

And here’s a properly edited video from KOIN Local 6.
Thanks to Phillipp Kirsch for pointing us to it!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
1 stayoffmybaby September 25, 2008 at 8:41 am

How dreadful. When i went to the hospital to have a baby, it was a safe haven for me from bedbugs. I hated to return home. I was new to bedbugs at that time (only 1 day after discovering the first one) and uneducated. I didnt realize how easy they are to spread and how hard to eliminate, so i didnt take any precautions to protect the hospital. I assumed hospitals had some “method” to control them. Nowadays i realize how wrong i was, and i worry about all the poor patients. It must be just awful to be sick and have bugs.

2 nobugsonme September 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm

stayoffmybaby,

In this case, it sounds like patients’ rooms were not found to have bed bugs (including that of the owner of the fanny pack).

All hospitals should be searching for bed bugs and should have a protocol in place to deal with them when they are suspected or found.

3 parakeets September 25, 2008 at 8:15 pm

At the First International Bedbug Symposium in Herndon, Virginia, it was reported that bedbugs were even found in the transplant wing of a hospital where the absolute highest standards had to be kept. I once saw a bedbug spray that was safe for mattresses being sold in a hospital supply company.

I think bedbugs are probably as common in hospitals as they are in hotels–both are places where many guests (or patients) check in and out and sleep. When people are just in a hospital for a short time, they might not realize they got bedbug bites. If I could be bitten by bedbugs in a chair at an airport, bedbugs are surely in many hospitals.

Interesting note that the bedbug was found to be in a kind of baggage room. That is a common place to find bedbugs in a hotel, too.

4 nobugsonme September 26, 2008 at 11:31 am

Added this, above:

Update (9/26):

Watch the fascinating video from WNCT in Oregon, here.

It looks like the footage someone forgot to edit. There’s no voiceover, just video of the hospital lobby and bed bugs in a jar, and soundbites from several unnamed sources: a hospital administrator (saying bed bugs “really do not pose any time of health threat”) juxtaposed with those of a PCO or entomologist (claiming “there are many people that have very strong dermal reactions to the bites”).

The latter also states, “we treat them as if they’re anthrax, or some exotic virus… It really is a tsunami that is coming. They’re going to be everywhere.”

5 bedbugtraps September 26, 2008 at 12:28 pm

This video was shot yesterday (Sept 25) by KOIN 6 TV in Portland, Oregon. A longer version can be found here.

The bed bugs in the jars are in APTIV’s laboratory where we are researching bedbug behavior and developing a surveillance device that will be used for detection of incipient infestations as an early warning system, and for assessment of the efficacy of control programs. Our product will be launched next month at PESTWORLD .
Philipp Kirsch
President and Chief Scientist, APTIV Inc.
7980 SE 17th Ave, Portland Oregon 97202
971.327.7129 work
503.819.2269 cell
http://www.aptivinc.com

6 nobugsonme September 29, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Thanks, Philipp, for the full video report I knew must be out there somewhere! And good luck with your trap launch.

7 nobugsonme September 29, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Updated to add full video from KOIN local 6.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: