Burnaby resident Maurizio Facchin is concerned about what he believes to be a lack of cleaning done at Burnaby Hospital and Royal Columbian Hospital after his mother allegedly contracted more than one infection at these facilities.
Facchin took his mother, Marilena, to both hospitals at different times since June, with a bladder infection and issues related to pre-existing diabetes and hypothyroidism.
Facchin said while in hospital, his 80-year-old mother contracted pneumonia, a fungal infection, and developed edema, and said he also got sick with a respiratory infection after visiting her.
"Now the question is, where did we get them?" he said of the infections. "The only thing we had in common for the last few months was that hospital room she was in."
Facchin said he has a sensitivity to dust, and noticed a layer of dust on some of the surfaces and inside a heating vent in his mother's room.
"There's dust everywhere in there," he said. "That means it's never been cleaned, and, unfortunately, that stuff spreads infectious diseases."
Facchin said he has not filed a complaint with Fraser Health, but intends to do so.
According to Tasleem Juma, senior consultant of public affairs for Fraser Health, dust in a hospital room would not spread infection, though it could exacerbate any pre-existing allergy.
According to a report posted on the Fraser Health website, both Burnaby and Royal Columbian Hospitals exceeded cleaning standard benchmark scores in the months during which Facchin's mother was a patient at these facilities.
Westech Cleaning Audit Systems is a third-party company that performs unannounced cleaning audits at Fraser Health facilities on a monthly basis.
"An accumulation" of dust is unacceptable, while "minimal dust" is considered acceptable, according to Westech's cleaning standards report.
Whether Facchin's mother contracted infections during her time in hospital because of a lack of cleaning in her room is something that would be difficult to determine, said Roy Thorpe-Dorward, spokesperson for Fraser Health.
"Infections can be acquired numerous different ways," he said. "Sometimes people come into hospital with infections that don't manifest themselves until they're there."
Fraser Health has the audits done to maintain a certain standard of cleanliness at its facilities, Thorpe-Dorward said.
"But the audit is to ensure quality over time, so it doesn't mean that there couldn't be occasions when somebody would find the cleanliness of their room unsatisfactory," he said. "And we certainly ask, if that's the case, that they make us aware of it and we can have it addressed."