Local News

Rockingham hospital gets all clear after bat infestation

Posted February 22, 2012

— FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital resumed admitting patients and providing emergency care Wednesday morning, four days after an infestation of bats forced the facility to close.

“Suspending inpatient and outpatient care was the right call,” John Jackson, president of the hospital, said in a statement. “While we do not believe there was any risk to patients, families, visitors or staff, it was best to suspend certain services while the remaining bats were removed and the bat removal company could assess the situation.”

The hospital worked with a professional bat removal service to expel the bats, which had been living in the walls.

The hospital began a top-to-bottom cleaning after the extermination, including cleaning lighting and air duct surfaces in the ceiling and removing, disinfecting and sanitizing all detachable objects in the patient rooms. 

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  • eyeoneastsky Feb 22, 2012

    Duke West used to have this same problem.

  • bitsyfae1 Feb 22, 2012

    I find this amusing since bats, especially the little brown bat and the evening bat (most found in NC) are migratory. That means they will keep coming back to where they think their home is...ie Richmond Memorial Hospital! They have a life span of about 30 years and they and all their offspring will keep returning. Btw, they can get through a space as small or smaller than 1/4". Good luck sealing up every crack like that!

  • loflinbecky Feb 22, 2012

    Was this incident filed with the Joint Commission?