Brickbat: Fly in the Ointment


Vladislavs Gorniks /

The operating rooms at the Veterans Administration West Los Angeles Medical Center were closed for a total of 22 days between November 2016 and February 2018 because of an ongoing fly infestation. An investigation by a local TV station found the hospital still has a fly problem, with traps in the hallways and patient rooms.

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  1. “An investigation by a local TV station”

    Local journalism still exists, what a relief!

  2. If you’re shut down for 22 days, gas the whole place. Then come back in with cleaning supplies to get rid of the residue.

  3. Did the VA file an environmental impact statement and get approval from the EPA before it began this mindless extermination? This could be the only extant colony of the West Los Angeles Medical Center North Hallway phorid fly species on the entire planet and they’re just going to extinguish the line? For shame!

    1. +1. Very good. Save the WLAMCNApf!

      1. I thought we were trying to save the LWAMCNpf.

  4. Dr. Head says he and others reported the fly problem but he says instead of addressing it, the VA suspended one doctor and he says they retaliated against him as well.

    The VA addressed a problem head-on (PUN INTENDED) just not the problem Head wanted.

  5. November of 2016 to February 2018 was 22 days?

    Can they not afford a calendar?

    1. Can they not afford a calendar?

      Apparently not. They obviously need a bigger budget. /sarc

      1. If we save only one fly, every vet is worth it.


  6. What a fucking disaster. The VA could fuck up a bowl of cereal. My dad once told me one of his biggest accomplishments after Vietnam was making enough in private life to never have to use the VA.

  7. “closed for terminal extermination and cleaning”
    Only a federal bureaucrat could come up with ‘terminal extermination’ – – – – – –

    On the other hand, I notice that CBS made no effort to determine the impact of all of the California restrictions on pesticides to the effectiveness of the ‘terminal extermination and cleaning’. It is hard to kill flies if the only pesticides allowed are vinegar and citrus juice. (small exaggeration, this is the web)

    1. “Fly” can cover a lot of species, but if it is anything like the common house fly, killing the flies (adults) is neither effective nor necessary to eliminate an infestation. They lay eggs in rotting refuse, excrement, and rotten meat (maybe medical waste in this case), which feeds the larva (AKA maggots)when they hatch. Get rid of the refuse, etc., and you get rid of the larva, and deprive the adults a place to lay eggs. The adults will die in a few days.

      But leave the refuse which feeds the larva, and you can bomb the whole place with powerful insecticides and still have a fly problem. Insecticides are less successful at reaching a larvae that is happily eating it’s way through a piece of rotting something, and often don’t affect the eggs at all.

      In other words, a fly problem is nearly always indicative of the sort of housekeeping problem that should not even be possible in a hospital. Trash is not being taken out regularly, there’s a rotting mess under the bed, or someone pooped in a closet and it hasn’t been found. Or possibly in a very badly run hospital, there are patients with flyblown open wounds… If you have to close a hospital to deal with flies, I’d recommend not reopening it until the management has been completely replaced and the staff all vetted again.

  8. Pretty fly for a black guy.

    1. that’s racist.

      Pretty guy for a black fly.

      1. Yeah, but if we stick to the original then it is cultural appropriation.

  9. Finally learning something from the cutting edge Cuban Healthcare System.

  10. Uh, take bids for some FLYSWATTERS? Start training some people to use them? With the VA, this should only take a few years, right?

    1. As a federal employee advocating or using violence, you would be terminated along with the flies.

  11. Given the totality of experience in California, I suspect a catch and release program would have been more effective.

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