Schneck Medical Center Proactive In Preventing Bed Bugs

Schneck Medical Center has taken a pro-active response to a growing concern with bedbugs in the community.
Janet Myers, RN, MSM, NE-BC, Director of Risk and Safety Management at Schneck, said the hospital has not had any bedbug infestations, but officials have developed a protocol for dealing with the situation when and if it should arise.
The hospital’s strategy begins with staff knowledge, Myers said. Staff inspects rooms daily and has been educated on recognizing an infestation and what actions to take if an infestation is suspected.
Bedbugs are not known to carry diseases like other pests such as mosquitoes or cockroaches, but a serious infestation can lead to lots of itching and scratching which, in turn, promote skin infections.
If bedbugs are suspected, the hospital will collect the patient’s personal clothing and other items to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Traps will also be placed in the room that will attract the insects to confirm their presence.
The hospital’s aim is to eliminate cross-infestations into other rooms.
Schneck has recognized the potential that patients can unknowingly bring bedbugs into the facility. Bedbugs are notorious hitchhikers. Although they are not too small to visibly identify-an adult bedbug is about the
size of a tomato seed-they will hide inside pockets, collars, sleeves and pant cuffs without a person ever knowing it.
“Anybody can travel with bedbugs. The public can play a role by becoming vigilant whenever traveling outside the area,” said Jeannie Berry, RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Preventionist at Schneck. Berry suggests inspecting
hotel rooms thoroughly for any signs of infestation, including looking underneath sheets and pillow cases and surveying creases between mattresses and frames.
“The community, including Schneck, needs to be proactive and not reactive to the bed bug situation,” said Berry.