12 OYS: Bed bug outbreak at Children's Hospital of Georgia contained

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / May 14, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- They may be small, but one bug is causing problems at a local hospital.

News 12 has learned a team of exterminators is at the Children's Hospital of Georgia eradicating bed bugs.

It is a problem more and more hospitals are facing. Like most parents, Dale Swinney said he wants only the best for his newborn son Jaxon. When the infant had a medical crisis, he said he took him to Children's Hospital of Georgia.

"As far as the surgical teams, the emergency room teams, they are the best in the world," Swinney said.

During a recent stay, Swinney said his son was bitten by bed bugs.

"We had noticed that he had a little rash coming up, but we figured it was from maybe the blankets," Swinney said.

He said the hospital later confirmed it had found bed bugs in two patient rooms, and a nearby waiting area. Despite how sterile a hospital strives to be, bed bugs can still be a problem in hospitals and other places.

Jim Wilde in GRU's Department of Emergency Medicine said where there are people, there is the potential for bed bugs.

"Any place where you have a large turnover of beds, in other words a large turnover of people going into beds, daily, hotels, hospitals, you're going to have bed bugs," Wilde said.

Georgia Regents Medical Center said it is proactive and uses monitoring devices throughout the facility. At the first sight of bed bugs, the hospital takes immediate action.

"We have a regular frequency where our pest control provider will come in, inspect to make sure we don't have any activity," Wilde said.

In addition, Chris Miller, Director of Facility Services said employees are also looking out, which is what happened in this case. The bed bugs were discovered by nursing staff.

What about those patients and family members who visited that section of the children's hospital?

"Everybody in this situation that was in this area, we did notify those folks what we know, what was going on, and what steps they should take," Miller said.

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal finds more than one-third of pest control companies were called to hospitals to get rid of bed bugs in 2012.

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