(VitalNews.org) – At Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center there were concerns over someone stealing medication, which was reported to authorities last month.
The medical center claimed that they were concerned over a former employee who may have stolen medication. Authorities say that the nurse was replacing Fentanyl with tap water in patient’s IVs which resulted in the death of at least 10 people.
The nurse that was doing this had been doing it to patients since fall 2022 and the medical center was heartbroken to hear that this had happened in their facility.
“We were distressed to learn of this issue,” “We reported it to law enforcement and are working closely with them,” they said.
According to medical experts, there are many different symptoms and reactions that could occur as a result of this swap, including infections and death. Medford Police Lt. Geoff Kirkpatrick said, “There was concern that this behavior resulted in adverse patient care, though the extent of the impact on those patients is yet to be determined.”
The hospital notified the families of at least two of the patients who had passed away about the incident. The families of both 36-year-old Samuel Allison and 74-year-old Barry Samsten were notified that the infections that caused their deaths were due to unsterile tap water being injected into their IVs instead of the Fentanyl they were supposed to receive. Therefore these deaths were a direct cause of the tampering done by the former nurse.
There are at least 10 deaths so far, but the extent of the affected patients is yet to be determined as they are still investigating and the effects are broad and hard to determine. The Oregon Health Authority said they were investigating the matter thoroughly.
“Reports that the incidents led to healthcare-associated infections that severely injured, and may have caused the deaths of, several patients,” they said.
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