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City Council to call West-End hotel management on carpet about bodily fluids left in rooms by Mass. General patients

The City Council today approved a hearing on conditions for housekeepers at the Wyndham Hotel on Blossom Street, whom they said are routinely exposed to blood, feces, vomit, syringes and other possibly unhealthy materials left in rooms by Mass. General patients staying at the hotel.

The hearing was proposed by councilors Josh Zakim (West End, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway), Ayanna Pressley (at large) and Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale).

The councilors said they also want to talk to city public-health officials about how to protect hotel workers across the city from such potential hazards.

"If we can't protect our hardest workers in the city, then what are we doing as a body?" McCarthy asked.

OSHA is also investigating conditions at the Wyndham.

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Comments

OMG! This is disgusting. I feel for those people who have to clean this stuff up. Bring on the Hazmat suits.

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Note to self: DO NOT stay at the Wyndham on Blossom St. in Boston

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But it can't be a unique situation just to this particular hotel/hospital/city: hospital patients often travel to teaching hospitals for treatment.

Why is it just Mass General and the Wyndham in particular in trouble, instead of both industries all over the city being called into a general summit? Why hasn't there been any outreach to other cities and hotels/hospitals with lots of medical travel to see how they deal with the issue of sloppy patients?

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As noted in the post, OSHA is investigating this issue. We should leave it at that.

MA doesn't have an occupational safety law in place (see https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/), we defer to the feds. Workplace investigations can be complicated, and aren't really within the expertise of the Dept. of Public Health. Better to leave this to the professionals in OSHA rather than trying to handle this in some ad-hoc way.

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I agree that this is a more widespread workplace safety issue. Like people don't leave bodily fluids in hotel rooms all the time? Please. Let's not demonize this particular hotel or, by extension, patients who stay in hotels while undergoing treatment. I have been a passenger in this boat. The sick have enough problems without people pointing fingers and yelling, "ooh, gross!"

That said, yes, of course these hotel workers need to have protections in place. But this should extend to all hotels, I would think. This one in particular, maybe, due to higher numbers. But it's not just their issue.

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Bodily fluids that are encapsulated in sheets and towels are actually not considered bio-hazardous [waste], though gloves should still be used, and even eye protection, in the laundry. It's only when something becomes saturated, or there is nothing holding bodily fluids that they become a bio-hazardous [waste], at least by hospital standards. A trifling distinction to many, I'm sure.

I think most people vomit in the right place in hotel rooms, that is, mostly the toilet. But there is a big issue if patients are dealing w/ HIV, Hep C, MR/MDR (drug-resistant) infections. And there is blood, syringes, saturated wound dressings... Wyndham should probably invest in some sharps bins and bio waste containers in rooms, since the cleaners have reported their experience. They can advertise it to MGH patients who are staying nearby anyway. MGH being adjacent really is the factor here.

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No. They and their managers would be too disgusted to use the Wyndham, especially now. ;-)

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I understand that staying in a hotel while taking a course of treatment for various diseases is likely preferable to patients but why isn't there a middle way. MGH makes more money than god, perhaps they could build an "dorm" like facility for patients who are taking these treatments. There would be more of an eye to bodily fluid issues, and the cost would be less than a a hotel or a hospital room. Convincing insurance companies to pay for it now that's a whole other issue.

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People who are contagious should stay in the hospital.

I won't give up hope that some day, we'll solve the problem of health care costs in this country by finding a way to run things more efficiently. A hospital stay costs thousands of dollars per night, so it's no surprise people stay in hotels instead.

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