Bed-bug story bites

Turning our attention to insects, did you catch that local television news report last week about the woman who complained that she’d been bitten by bedbugs while a patient at Enloe Medical Center?

The visuals were graphic. They showed a thin, elderly woman with scabs all over her head, shoulders and arms. But the story raised red flags.

First, it defied common sense. Hospitals use plastic-covered mattresses and change sheets regularly. They simply don’t have bedbugs. Second, this was an isolated case. Nobody else had reported bedbugs at Enloe—or any other hospital, for that matter. Third, anybody can make a complaint to the Department of Health Services, even anonymously, and it will be investigated.

As it turned out, a DHS investigation found no evidence to support the woman’s charges.

In our opinion, the incident never rose to the level of newsworthiness and shouldn’t have been broadcast. Enloe has taken some hits lately in the media, and deservedly so, but this was irresponsible piling on. The TV news folks owe Enloe and their viewers an apology.