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Mother horrified after finding BED BUGS in daughter’s hospital ward after near-fatal asthma attack 

A mother says she found bed bugs in her daughter’s hospital room in Arizona.

Erin Ortega and her wife had been switching on and off spending nights with their daughter in the ICU at Banner Desert Hospital in Mesa after she suffered a near fatal-asthma attack.

It’s unclear how long she has been in the hospital or how long she will remain there because the severity of asthma attacks can vastly differ from patient to patient.

On Monday night, while preparing for bed, Ortega told Fox 10 that they noticed a bed bug on the sheets the hospital provided. 

After switching rooms, they were horrified to discover that the bed bugs were lurking in several rooms in the hospital.

Erin Ortega says she found bed bugs in her daughter’s hospital room (pictured) in the bedding at Banner Desert Hospital in Mesa, Arizona, on Monday night

After switching rooms, Ortega (pictured) says that she and her wife found another bed bug on the floor behind a recliner and a dead one stuck to a chair

After switching rooms, Ortega (pictured) says that she and her wife found another bed bug on the floor behind a recliner and a dead one stuck to a chair

Ortega says she alerted hospital workers to the bed bug discovering.

The family was then moved to another room but was told it was for ‘staffing reasons’, although it was never fully explained what this meant. 

The couple decided to check the room to see if there were any more of the insects.

‘Sure enough, there was another bed bug on the floor behind the recliner, as well as a dead one that was stuck to the chair,’ Ortega told Fox 10.

The couple says they’re worried about their daughter’s well-being as well as of other patients on the ICU floor.

‘None of the other patients, to my knowledge, have been notified or patients’ families,’ Ortega told the news outlet.

‘We see family coming and going out of [the rooms] still carrying bags, still carrying their sweaters, things like that, and it doesn’t seem that there’s much of a concern for their well-being.’ 

The hospital issued a statement to Fox 10 saying it immediately responds to any concerns raised by patients.


Bedbug bites themselves are painless and do not spread disease.

Yet, a reaction can occur within minutes or as long as two weeks after you’ve been bitten.

Signs you’ve been bitten include:

  • Itchy, red bumps on the skin
  • Bumps on exposed areas such as the face and hands
  • Bumps that occur in a straight line
  • In severe cases, rashes or fluid-filled blisters
  • Blood spots on your sheets if you squash the bugs while sleeping
  • Your bedroom developing an unpleasant, musty smell

Source: CDC 

‘We are responsive to any concerns expressed by our patients,’ the statement read. ‘We take immediate action to remedy isolated incidents as soon as we are notified.’ 

Bed bugs do not usually pose a serious medical threat, but can be viewed as annoying because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. 

They are most active at night, but bites can take as long as 14 days to appear.  

Occasionally, a bite can trigger an allergic reaction and require medical attention, according to the CDC.  

Bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of because they are resistant to common pesticides.

Ortega and her wife have other children at home and say they have not been able to spend nights with their daughter for fear of transferring bed bugs into their home.

A 2015 survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) found that the percentage of exterminators dealing with bedbugs in healthcare facilities increased greatly between 2013 and 2015. This included:

  • 46 percent to 58 percent in nursing homes
  • 33 percent to 36 percent in hospitals
  • 26 percent to 33 percent in doctors’ offices/outpatient services

It is believed the rise of beg bugs in these areas is due to high patient turnover as well as frequent visiting guests and vendors.


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