Report: Insect Infestation Problem Forces VA Hospital to Delay Surgeries

An insect infestation at the Veterans Affairs (VA) West Los Angeles over the last few years has led the hospital to delay 83 surgeries and close its operating rooms for 22 days, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The television station conducted a hidden-camera investigation and discovered that the hospital installed at least 200 fly traps to deal with an infestation of phorid flies in operating rooms, dating back to 2016.

CBS Los Angeles obtained emails and memos showing that the facility closed operating rooms for a total of 22 days between November 2016 and February 2018. Phorid flies are drawn to open wounds, where they could lay eggs and transmit bacteria.

“The fact that VA has waited for more than two years to properly address this, I think underscores leadership failure at the highest levels,” Eric Hannel, an investigator for the House Veterans Affairs Committee, told the station.

In a statement released to CBS Los Angeles, the VA said it found no evidence of patient harm but closed the ORs as a cautionary move. All ORs are currently open.