Due to growing concerns about the presence of bed bugs in our community, The University of Vermont Medical Center is implementing a new policy that will make several requests of patients and their visitors. No bed bugs have been found in our inpatient units to date, but facilities and clinical leaders believe it is prudent at this point to enhance our existing preventive measures.
We ask that patients and visitors help us minimize the chances of a problem developing, with the following preventative measures.
Bed Bug Prevention Policy
- Please only bring necessary items into the hospital. Clothes, blankets, luggage, bags and other possessions that are not essential during a patient's stay should be left at home.
- Items brought into the hospital should be placed in plastic or paper bags. Please ask at the Information Desk or medical staff member for a bag to place your items into.
- Patients will be asked by medical staff members if they are currently in contact with bed bugs or have been exposed to them in the recent past. If the answer to either of those questions is yes, belongings and clothing will be decontaminated with a short duration heat treatment and returned to the patient.
- If you are a visitor of a patient and are currently in contact with bed bugs or have been exposed to them in the recent past, we ask that you not come to the hospital if possible.
Key Facts About Bed Bugs
- Bed bugs do not pose a public health threat, but they can cause skin irritations and other minor problems.
- The presence of bed bugs is not related to the cleanliness of a person's surroundings.
- Anyone can "pick-up" bed bugs and unknowingly carry them on clothing or other items.
- Their small size (adults are about the size of a tomato seed) makes them difficult to detect.
We thank you in advance for your consideration of our bed bug preventative policy.