Emergency room closed after patient arrives with bed bugs - KMSP-TV

Emergency room closed, cleaned after patient arrives with bed bugs

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NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) -

A New Port Richey hospital's emergency room was temporarily shut down on Thursday after bed bugs were found crawling on a patient.

Staff members of Morton Plant North Bay Hospital quickly evacuated the 15-bed ER, and placed patients in other wings of the hospital.

"A team responded immediately, we are trained for this. We put our processes into place," North Bay Hospital spokesperson Beth Hardy said Thursday.

The hospital believes the patient was carrying the pests on their clothes or belongings when they entered the hospital for treatment. Luckily, the hospital says no one else was carrying the bed bugs, and the isolated area was treated.

"We feel like we are able to be on top of it and we are able to take care of our patients, including the patient that came in," Hardy said.

North Bay Hospital asked that ambulances be re-routed to other hospitals during the day as they dealt with the issue.

While Hardy says it was an isolated incident, some experts say bed bugs are a growing problem in high traffic areas, like hospitals.

"You have people of all walks of life coming through there and from all over the world," Knight Pest Control entomologist Randy Stout said Thursday.

Stout says the most modern method of eliminating the pests involves turning up the heat on the intruders.

"There are some newer methods using heat. If you heat a room up to about 125 degrees, it'll kill the bed bugs," he said.

North Bay Hospital reopened their emergency room a little after 6 pm on Thursday, after eliminating the bed bug population.

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