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Detroit Hospital Might Lose Aid Over Bugs


Flying mosquitoes black silhouette

Occupant health and safety are high priorities for facility managers in all types of buildings. The issue is an even higher priority in health care facilities, where the health of patients already is compromised when they arrive.

Consider the case of a Detroit Medical Center (DMC) hospital that might lose federal funding over infection-control issues, including bugs flying around an intensive care unit, according to The Detroit News.

Nurses report that the insects had been present for months. Among the additional problems at Harper University Hospital listed in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) report were:

  • two cardiologists wearing surgical skull caps without required bouffant protective coverings
  • an intensive care patient's urine-filled catheter bag dragging on the floor
  • a tray of sterile surgical instruments improperly stored in the labor and delivery area
  • storage drawers littered with crumbs and dusty shelves.


In a letter to the hospital, CMS says a facility survey the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs completed about three weeks earlier also found dirt and debris on the hospital's kitchen floor and an operating suite table with a surgical tray draped in blue towels before a delivery.

A six-month investigation by The Detroit News published in 2016 uncovered an 11-year history of problems with dirty surgical instruments at five DMC hospitals at the health system's Midtown campus.

In the medical center's response to the findings, hospital officials say they took numerous actions, including reviewing a sterilization techniques policy, having staff extensively clean the facility, and contracting with a pest control company.

Cathryn Jakicic is healthcare industries editor of FacilitiesNet.com. For more information on hospital campuses and other medical facilities, click here.

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