Insects by the dozens at Sacred Heart

News 7 March, 2018
  • Photo Chantal Poirier
    The insects infiltrate through small holes in the exterior walls of the hospital, built in 1926. The situation is such that it vaporizes each year the exterior walls of a pesticide treatment.

    Eric Yvan Lemay

    Wednesday, 7 march, 2018 01:00

    Wednesday, 7 march, 2018 01:00

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    Dozens of flies, beetles and even wasps have invaded the operating theatre of the Hospital of the Sacred Heart in the last few months and the school is preparing for the worst with the return of warm weather.

    Flies have already been observed in the past few days in this hospital, which is one of the oldest in Montreal, while the mercury barely above the freezing point.

    The situation is even more serious than that revealed two weeks ago by our Bureau of inquiry to the Charles-LeMoyne Hospital, Longueuil, where a ladybird was filmed among scalpels.

    Last October, the staff of the Hospital of the Sacred Heart has been observed beetles 18 occasions on the same day in one operating room, according to our information.

    In a few days, there were dozens of insects. The wasps died from a nest located outside the facility were also found.

    According to our sources, approximately 150 incident reports/accident involving insects in the operating room have been filled during the past year at the Hospital of the Sacred Heart. In comparison, there were 34 in two years at the Charles-LeMoyne Hospital.

    A recurring problem

    Last December, the family of a patient is the same complaint of the fact that we saw flies in the lights above his bed. The problem does not, however, yesterday. According to our information, it lasts for years, especially because of the outdated facilities. The Hospital of the Sacred Heart was built in 1926.

    A report from Accreditation Canada, the largest reference in the field of the evaluation of hospitals, had already revealed the problem in a report published in 2014.

    Registry of insects

    Photo courtesy

    Several flies were found in the ceiling light in the wake of complaints from relatives of a patient in December last.

    The Hospital said take the situation seriously and have put corrective measures in place. Each insect is noted in a register of incidents. Oddly, when our survey asked how many insects there have been identified, the Hospital has refused to answer.

    “The exact number of incidents since 1 April this year, related to the presence of flies or beetles, is not available, since the compilation for the current fiscal year is not over,” said the advisor with media relations, Hugo Larouche. The financial year ends on 31 march.

    The Hospital ensures, however, that there has been no postoperative complication related to the presence of flies or beetles.

    For the vice-president of the Association of microbiologists, infectious disease physicians of Quebec, the presence of insects in the block should not be tolerated.

    “An insect is an insect too. It poses a risk, ” said Dr. Linda Lalancette.

    A project to build a new operating theatre at the Hospital of the Sacred Heart, is currently awaiting government approvals.


    Measures put in place by the Hospital of the Sacred Heart

    • An agent in hygiene and safety the tour of the operating rooms each day to ensure that there are no flies.
    • If an insect is detected, all surgical instruments must be sterilized again.
    • Sensors insects are installed in the operating rooms.
    • A pesticide treatment is made on the outer wall of the building each year.

    Extract from the report of Accreditation Canada

    “It is, among other things, that the windows are full of cobwebs and layers of dust are accumulated; these windows are sometimes kept open, allowing the entrance of flies and other bugs. “

    “It is true that the establishment shall undertake the progressive replacement of the windows and that the project will be completed in a few years; the same situation will happen again in the short term if a programme of major works is not implanted. “