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Bedbugs on the rise in Maine healthcare facilities

First Maine reported on lobstermen with MRSA [1]. Now it has a different critter on its hands; bedbugs.

An infestation of bed bugs was found in a Lewiston, ME, hospital.

Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) closed its surgical unit to dispose of the unwanted inhabitants. Bedbugs, which are bugs the size of apple seeds, enjoy infesting beds, walls, and clothing. Since they are so tiny, they are difficult to spot. A patient in CMMC alerted a staff member, causing the unit to be shut down for exterminators, reported the Sun Journal. [2]

This isn’t the only healthcare setting in Maine that has dealt with these infesters. Lewiston’s Montello Manor and Montello Commons, a nursing home and assisted living facility, found bedbugs. St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center also in Lewiston were alerted by patients that bedbugs were found in the facility, according to the report.

CMMC has put together a protocol for dealing with these little creatures. The Sun Journal reports that once an area is infected, the area must be isolated immediately, clothing and personal belongings of patients must be double bagged, bedding and drapes must be double bagged, and exterminators must be called in. If the infestation of bedbugs spreads, dogs are called in to find out where they’re hiding. The American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES) put out a release explaining bedbug management, detection, and prevention [3]. ASHES gives a step by step process on detecting them and disposing them within proper time frames.

A video was released by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension [4] showing how to find bedbugs and how to avoid bedbugs in hotel room beds.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put out a list of tools that can help prevent the spread of bedbugs [5] as well as give an informative description of different treatments.

CMMC plans to open up the closed unit on Monday, October, 25.

What protocol does your healthcare facility have against bedbugs? How can this infestation be avoided?