SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – A Sioux Falls woman is speaking out about her experience at a local hospital earlier this month in the hope she can prevent others from going through the same experience.
After several nights in the hospital bed, Cara Gerdes decided to try a different place in her room.
“So I decided to sleep on what I call the dad couch,” Gerdes said.
She squished a bug but didn’t think much of it until she was itching all over the next day.
“Just saw the bites everywhere on me. I mean, the ones on my belly were really big,” Gerdes explained. “I mean, they’re everywhere. They’re on my arms around, my legs are on my feet. My hands. I had to ask for ice in the middle of the night because they were burning.”
She said hospital staff told her they were bed bug bites and moved her to a different room.
“All the staff were amazing, like the direct care staff, the doctors, the nurses, the techs, everybody felt terrible and like, were so nice,” Gerdes said. “They’re not denying that it was bedbugs.”
She’s not necessarily upset about the bed bugs. Other facilities across the nation have also had to fight bed bugs.
But Gerdes decided to go public about how she said the upper management treated her.
“The nurse director came in, and I just felt like the things that they said to me were not okay, how they treated me. She made the comment to me it’s a financial issue for them to I’m like, well, a multibillion-dollar company compared to somebody who’s coming to say multiple days on a high-risk unit,” Gerdes said. “I thought the Patient Relations was supposed to be an advocate for the patient. And that was not the case at all.”
If you’re checking into a hospital, Gerdes suggests bagging your clothes and trying to bring as little as possible of your own. She suggests doing an inspection and asking if they’ve inspected the room as well.
We asked Sanford about the incident and received a response of dedication to cleaning, sanitizing, and vector control, including hiring outside contractors if needed.
“We have significant measures in place to mitigate the risk of vector transmission in our facilities. As with any public business, it can be difficult to control vectors brought into facilities from patients and visitors. Our environmental services team thoroughly monitors, cleans and sanitizes public spaces and patient rooms and, in some cases, contracts with a vendor to proactively address any potential areas of concern. We take this matter very seriously and have comprehensive preventive measures in place to protect the health and safety of our patients, guests and employees.”
“Maybe they’ll reconsider one how they clean their rooms or two how they treat people. That’s my hope,” Gerdes said.
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