A bed-bound 62-year-old male neurosurgery patient at Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) was found to have several larvae around the wound of his tracheostomy tube and left ear on September 24 and 25 respectively, a Hospital Authority spokesman said. The wound was cleaned immediately, and detailed clinical examinations by a doctor from the Department of Ear, Nose and Throat were also arranged for the patient immediately with bronchoscopy and computed tomography scanning.
The patient is now in stable condition. Repeated examinations by the clinical team showed no evidence that the incident had brought about extra health risk for the patient.
The larvae were sent to the laboratory of the Department of Clinical Pathology for tests. The microbiologist performing the laboratory tests confirmed that the larvae were larvae of Sacrophaga, which is a kind of common fly in Hong Kong. Adult flies may breed larvae on wounds and subsequently cause infections.
TMH emphasised that the clinical team will change the gauze around the patient's tracheostomy every few hours for hygiene purposes. The hospital has also reminded clinical staff and patients to observe the following measures to avoid larva infestation:
• Treat all wounds immediately and dress them properly to avoid breeding of larvae;
• Enhance fly-proofing measures;
• Observe good personal hygiene; and
• Stay alert to patients developing symptoms of larva infestation.
After the incident, the contractor was requested to perform additional pest control services at TMH and ward areas. Pest control is scheduled to be performed monthly in the ward concerned and the last pest control service was carried out on September 22.
TMH has also checked all insect trap lights placed in the hospital, and found no obvious increase in the number of insects trapped. TMH reported the incident to the government departments concerned and urged relevant hospital departments and service contractors to maintain a high standard of hygiene in order to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and insects.
The incident has been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection. TMH said they will look into the hygiene standard of the ward and the cleanliness of medical equipment and consumables as well as explore measures to improve the clinical care procedures and step up pest control exercises inside the hospital. In addition, the hospital will work closely with relevant government departments, inspect the hospital and its nearby area to ensure environmental hygiene and eliminate pest breeding. MIMS
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