Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Health facility under investigation for rodent infestation

Healthcare facilities are not immune to
rodent infestations and poor IAQ.
A long-term healthcare facility in Lethbridge, Alberta is under investigation following allegations that mice bit a dementia patient on the face.

Friends of Medicare (FoM), a nonprofit organization that works to raise awareness of healthcare concerns in Alberta, charged in a Sept. 9 press release that an employee of St. Therese Villa, a 200-bed designated assisted living facility run by Covenant Health, found the disabled, immobile resident with mice nibbling at her face on Sept. 1.

According to Sandra Azocar, FoM’s executive director, staff at St. Therese had already been reporting instances of mouse and bedbug infestation for at least a year.

“This is not just in this facility,” she added. “We’ve had many e-mails from patients and staff in other facilities, saying it’s an ongoing issue in this province.”

The Alberta government is investigating and a final report is expected to be delivered to the Minister’s office before the end of September.

A Sept. 11 press statement from Covenant Health claimed that there was no physical or medical evidence indicating that the resident had suffered from any wounds caused by animal bites. While the organization admitted that a mouse had been spotted in the room where the resident had been, it maintained that the resident’s symptoms were more consistent with those of a viral condition.

Covenant Health also stated that St. Therese Villa was cooperating with investigators in every way, increasing its pest-control measures and cleaning the facility according to established standards.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) has already sent several formal complaints to Covenant Health regarding rodent and bedbug infestation before FoM’s recent charge.

Azocar said that better regulations are needed to protect people in the province. “This is a huge… health and safety issue for both the staff and the patients,” she said.

Battle poor IAQ with carbon air cleaners

Rodent and bedbug infestations may be the exception (one hopes), but poor indoor air quality and strong odors are more common than not in healthcare facilities.
Activated carbon can remove
airborne chemicals, gases and odors.

With good ventilation and air cleaning measures, the indoor air quality may be greatly improved. However, the air cleaners need a large activated carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter and UV germicidal filtration for the best all-around air cleaning:

  1. Activated carbon (also sometimes referred to as activated charcoal): A very porous substance with large surface area where chemicals, gases and odors are adsorbed. For best results, the activated carbon needs to come in granular or pellet form.
  2. HEPA: The gold standard for fine particle filtration. Electrocorp also offers micro-HEPA and Super-HEPA filters.
  3. UV germicidal filtration: A UV lamp helps neutralize biological contaminants such as viruses, bacteria and mold spores.
Electrocorp offers a variety of air cleaners for the healthcare industry. For more information and a consultation, contact Electrocorp.

No comments:

Post a Comment