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Women are giving birth on BEDBUG-infested sheets in a London hospital

Pregnant women are being forced to give birth on BEDBUG-infested sheets at an NHS hospital as staff are told to wear protective clothes

  • King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill confirmed an insect outbreak
  • The 50-bed maternity ward is being deep cleaned by a pest-control team
  • Staff are even having to wear protective clothing during the intensive clean 

Pregnant women are being forced to give birth on bedbug infested sheets in a south London hospital.

King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill confirmed its 50-bed maternity ward is being treated by a pest-control team for the creepy crawlies.

And staff are even having to wear protective clothing during the deep clean.

King’s College Hospital (pictured) in Denmark Hill, south London, confirmed its 50-bed maternity ward is being treated by a pest-control team for the creepy crawlies

A spokesperson for the King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:  ‘A number of beds on the postnatal ward in our maternity department are being treated for bedbugs.

‘Following specialist advice the appropriate treatment is being carried out in the affected areas, which includes deep cleaning.

‘While the treatment process is ongoing, we have taken the decision to reduce visiting in maternity, and staff working in the affected areas are wearing appropriate protective clothing.

‘Women being admitted on to the unit are being informed of the situation, and those being discharged are being given advice and guidance.’ 

Bedbugs are often resistant to insecticides and therefore difficult to rid yourself.

If you suspect an infestation, contact your local council or pest control service.

Wash affected bedding or clothing at 60°C or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least half-an-hour. 

Alternatively, put bedding in a plastic bag in a freezer for four days.

Although bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, keeping the house clean helps you spot them early on.

To avoid an infestation, do not buy secondhand furniture without inspecting it properly first.

And don’t take luggage or clothing inside if you have traveled from a place where you suspect there may be bedbugs. 

Source: NHS Choices 

A number of women who have given birth on the maternity unit’s William Gilliatt Ward posted online about the infestation, The Telegraph reported. 

One wrote last month: ‘The place didn’t look clean, on top of the warning of bedbugs.’ 

Bedbugs are not dangerous but can leave itchy, red bumps if they bite. 

Measuring around 5mm as adults, they are visible to the naked eye, and can be dark yellow, red or brown.

Bedbugs typically live on mattresses and bedding, as well as furniture and clothing.

Aside from bites, other signs of an infestation include blood spots on bedding if the insect gets squashed or small brown pieces of their faeces.

Occasionally, people suffer a severe reaction to bedbug bites, which may cause their welts to be particularly itchy and swollen. 

And some even have the life-threatening allergic reaction anaphylaxis, however, this is rare.

Bedbug infestations are on the rise, particularly in London. This is thought to be due to the creepy crawlies returning from abroad on people’s suitcases and rucksacks. 

The insects, which can produce hundreds of offspring in just a few weeks, can survive months without feeding. 

Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own within a week. You can ease the uncomfortable itchy by placing a cool, damp cloth on the welt and keeping the area clean. Not scratching also reduces the risk of infection.

Mild steroid creams or antihistamines may also help if itching is severe and affecting your sleep. 

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