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Home > Topics > Medical / Clinical

Honolulu EMS battling bed bug problems in ambulances

If an ambulance is found to have bed bugs, the vehicle can remain out of service for as long as three hours while it undergoes treatment by technicians


HONOLULU, Hawaii —Paramedics are not quite ready to dial 911, but more and more, city ambulances are becoming contaminated with bed bugs.

"One just happened, actually, on my last shift when the person didn't even realize that he had bed bugs," said paramedic Jojo Abuan, who's been with the city's Department of Emergency Medical Services for nearly six years.

The problem of bed bugs is also forcing EMS to ask for more resources from the Honolulu City Council. In the current fiscal year, the department is spending $17,000 to decontaminate ambulances of bed bugs. During the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, that cost is expected to rise to $25,200. "It is going to go into good use and it's going to keep ambulances in service, which will lead to lives saved," said EMS spokeswoman Shayne Enright.

Full story: Paramedics encountering more bed bugs

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Shilon Sechrest Shilon Sechrest Monday, April 07, 2014 7:11:28 PM Yes, the service I worked for didnt take the trucks out of services most of the time. If you seen one on the cot then our service thought the bug went with bedding on the patient to the hospital. My partner and I always informed the hospital but theres so much more that needs to be done for bed bugs and EMS.
George Trager George Trager Tuesday, April 08, 2014 7:39:54 PM People have a greater chance of catching bed bugs on their person trying on clothes from Sears or Kohls. Ambulances and equipment ( at least in the FDNY/EMSC) are specifically designed so that the parasitic creatures could be "washed' right out of the ambulance. there is nothing in our ambulances they can latch onto that would be stronger then water or a mop. The point is if you dont want bugs in the rig then keep it clean
Mike Ledgerwood Mike Ledgerwood Wednesday, April 09, 2014 1:41:07 AM Improper cleaning. Burrito wrap the patient with disposable linens and transport. After dismissing, inspect cot and clean with disinfectant. Transport patients with bedbugs, lice and scabbies all the time, never had an issue. Take time to clean your rig.

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