Aurora resident Christine Lewis went to the doctor recently for a routine pain injection. When she showed the nurse her bed bug bites, however, the routine changed. Lewis says she was denied her injection and, citing the risk of contaminating their operating room with bed bugs, her doctor asked her to leave the hospital.
"He totally disregarded me. I told the hospital, now I know how AIDS patients felt 20 years ago. Everything he said implied I was a dirty person, not up to standard and that's not right" Lewis told ABCNews.com
While the doctor's response at the Medical Center of Aurora was against Health One's policies, an established protocol for similar situations could not be verified.
Peggy SaBelle, RN, the Regional Infection Prevention and Control Director for Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, told Denver's 7News that counteractive procedures should begin immediately after any bed bug signs. In addition to hospital countermeasures, patients are advised to eradicate bugs from their home.
Lewis does not intend to file a lawsuit nor does she expect an apology. She says her motive is to raise awareness of her encounter for the benefit of others.
Her doctor rescheduled the injection appointment and has issued an antibiotic for the bites.