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Ottawa hospitals facing bedbugs, cockroaches

Ottawa hospitals facing bedbugs, cockroaches

Sep 09, 2018

Ottawa [Canada] Sept 9: Paramedics in Ottawa are finding themselves confronting a different kind of bug lately - bed bugs.
The Ottawa medical system has been consistently grappling with the issue of bedbug contamination in their ambulances, causing increased expenses for the province's already cash-strapped medical system.
The de-contamination room at Ottawa's Paramedic Headquarters is meant primarily to deal with pathogenic concerns, but more and more paramedic crews find themselves heading there to deal with bedbugs.
"For bed bugs, paramedics come here (to the de-contamination room) two to three times a week," Marc-Antoine Deschamps with the Ottawa Paramedics Services told CTV Ottawa, "but just this week I think we're up to five [times]."
The process of decontamination is a lengthy one, with technicians giving the ambulances an intensive clean while the crews' uniforms go through a ride in an industrial washer.
The laborious process is necessary to ensure that any bedbugs picked up aren't allowed to spread.
"These little bugs can spread quickly," explains Deschamps, "so we don't want to take a risk that they might go into another patient's home or the staff themselves, that they may take them home."
Bedbugs aren't the first time the Ottawa hospital system has had to get rid of an unwanted guest.
In early August, the Queensway-Carleton hospital got an unexpected surprise when a patient brought cockroaches into the hospital on a wheelchair.
The bugs forced the hospital to seal off the room for five days, forcing the already over-capacity hospital to leave some patients in emergency longer while waiting for rooms to become available.
In a statement, the hospital said that the incident was an isolated incident, and the problem had been dealt with by professionals.
"This is first incident of its kind in the last 20 years and likely longer," the statement reads. "There have been no bugs seen in the last week, so we are optimistic the issue has passed."
Pest control expert Rob Caron says that while bedbugs aren't uncommon in public places like hospitals because of how they travel on clothes, they don't pose a serious threat to patients or staff.
"They can be common on a bus, they can be common in a theatre," says Caron, the branch manager of Orkin Pest Control Ottawa. "It's not something I'd be overly afraid of because we can deal with it quite quickly."
Source: CTV News