PUBLIC HEALTH

Mysterious fly infestation forces Ibiza hospital to close operating theaters

Center has cancelled 56 operations scheduled for Thursday and Friday amid search to find source

Palma de Mallorca - 27 Jan 2017 - 11:46 UTC

The only public hospital on the island of Ibiza was forced to temporarily shut down its surgery wing on Thursday after detecting flies in seven out of the eight operating rooms. The regional government of the Balearic Islands said it made this decision following the “unusual” occurrence at Can Misses Hospital.

The surgery area at Can Misses Hospital in Ibiza.
The surgery area at Can Misses Hospital in Ibiza.

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Ibiza and Formentera health authorities have cancelled the 56 operations scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the hospital, which only maintains an emergency surgery room open at this time for life-and-death cases.

Sources at the island’s health department said that the flies were first detected in the surgery area on Wednesday night. Following a Thursday morning inspection, the wing will remain closed until authorities find the source of the infestation.

Ibiza health chief Josep Balanzat said that the hospital’s management is working to find the source and eliminate it. The area will then undergo a microbiology analysis and reopen 48 hours later.

The cancelled operations “will be reassigned immediately next week”

This means that operations could be on hold until Monday. Balanzat said that beside keeping open one emergency operating room “which is unaffected,” a helicopter is standing ready to fly patients to Son Espases and Son Llátzer hospitals on the neighboring island of Mallorca if required.

The cancelled operations “will be reassigned immediately next week,” said the hospital’s medical director, Pedro Fernández, who hopes that the number of patient transfers to Mallorca “will be as low as possible.”

English version by Susana Urra.

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