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Patient not bugged by mosquitoes in operating room

Mosquito season has arrived, so we expect the annoying bloodsuckers to stalk us at parks, in back yards and on golf courses.

But in the operating room?

In what one hospital official called a first, doctors at North Hills Hospital in North Richland Hills had to cancel a surgery Tuesday morning after a staffer spotted a couple of mosquitoes buzzing around.

The operating room, one of eight at the hospital, was immediately shut down and sterilized, said Bethe Spurlock, a hospital spokeswoman.

“We would not do any surgery with a bug in the room,” Spurlock said. “Operating rooms are sterile. Patient safety is very important to us.”

The patient was Treva Black of Richland Hills, said her husband, Bill Black. She was scheduled for a 7:30 a.m. surgery on her upper arm and shoulder. But she was told shortly before she was scheduled to be taken into the operating room that the procedure was being postponed, he said.

“They said the room had mosquitoes,” he said. “She kinda got a kick out of it herself.”

No patients were ever at risk, Spurlock said. It’s not clear how the mosquitoes got in. Spurlock said it appeared to be an isolated incident.

The hospital handled the problem well, Bill Black said. “It was good of them to spot the mosquitoes,” he said. “It doesn’t take much for those little buggers to get in.”