Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital vs. bed bugs

by nobugsonme on December 8, 2009

in bed bugs, hospitals, new jersey

Greystone Park, a $200 million psychiatric hospital in Morris Plains, NJ, which opened last year (part of the NJ Division of Mental Health), is battling a bed bug infestation which is thought to be mostly in staff areas.

The Star-Ledger reports,

Exterminators have been called to the nearly 500-patient state facility in Parsippany which opened last year to eradicate bugs which have been found in some staff areas, including an employees’ break room and lockers, plus a patient’s bedroom.

The first bedbug sighting was on Nov. 11 and an exterminator was promptly brought in, said Ellen Lovejoy, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services. A couple more bugs were found a few days later, prompting a renewed response which included bringing in an extermination company that employs dogs to sniff out the bugs, she said.

So far, no patients have been bitten, Lovejoy said.

See also: the New York Post.

Responding promptly to bed bug outbreaks is good.

Educating staff: also good.  The Star-Ledger says,

Lovejoy said extermination efforts will continue for the immediate future and hospital staff will be educated on how to deal with bedbugs in the hospital and at home.

(More on that in a moment.)

Lack of knowledge about bed bugs on administrator’s part: not so good.  The same paper reports,

So far, no patients have been bitten, Lovejoy said.

Really?

In fact, if bed bugs were found in one patient’s bedroom, there is no way of knowing if the patient was bitten or not.  Many people do not react to bites.

The bottom line is that facilities like this will get bed bugs.  They may come in with staff, patients, visitors, or shipments.

However, when staff or patients are battling bed bugs at home, and cannot afford proper detection and/or treatment, what assistance is the state of New Jersey giving them with this?

In other words, you can educate staff on “how to deal with bedbugs at home.”  But money comes into the equation too.  So does the ability to find a good professional to treat the problem properly.

And those parts of the equation need to be dealt with somehow.

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