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Bedbug infestation shuts children’s ward
10:13am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
YOUNG patients at the Great Western Hospital are expected to move back into the children’s ward today after it was shut for 48 hours to eradicate an infestation of bed bugs.
The Adver revealed earlier this month that, in the past year, staff had reported fleas twice on the ward, one of which was confirmed by pest controllers.
After a sighting of bugs on a chair in the ward on Tuesday night, all 16 patients, plus their nurses and doctors, were moved the following afternoon to the ambulatory care unit, where space was found by reducing the number of beds and moving things around.
Chairs and mattresses were removed from the children’s ward to enable Bristol-based firm MITIE Pest Control to treat the area with a pesticide chemical, steam and a fine powder.
The hospital’s regular cleaners were expected to deep-clean the ward overnight and the youngsters were due to move back in by lunchtime today.
Associate medical director Dr Helen Price said: “Bed bugs are very common in the community and are easily carried on clothes and other belongings so it’s likely they have been carried on to the ward by visitors.
“Bed bugs themselves pose no serious health risk but they can cause irritation to the skin which varies from person to person.”