3 patients sue Swedish Medical Center for HIV, hepatitis exposure — 5 key points

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Three Swedish Medical Center former surgery patients are suing the Denver-based hospital after a former surgical tech exposed the patients and nearly 3,000 others to HIV and hepatitis B, C, according to Fox News.

Here are five key points:

1. The three former patients are suing the hospital for negligence in its hiring and supervision of the surgical technician, who attempted to switch a syringe with opiate fentanyl citrate with another substance during a patient's surgery.

2. In February, a federal grand jury indicted the tech, Rocky Allen, on two felonies — one count of tampering with a consumer product and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by deceit.

3. Federal authorities reported Mr. Allen is a carrier of an unspecified "blood-borne pathogen," prompting Swedish Medical Center to notify nearly 3,000 patients who had surgery at the hospital between August 2015 and January 2016. The hospital urged patients to undergo screening for HIV and hepatitis B and C.

4. The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages for emotional distress. The three patients all tested negative for the blood-borne diseases, but will need to undergo additional screening in about six months.

5. The suit claims Mr. Allen plead guilty to stealing fentanyl while deployed with a U.S. Army Unit in Afghanistan.

More articles on quality & infection control:
AHRQ: Pharmacists play crucial role in patient safety in ambulatory settings — 4 observations
49 medical tech companies pledge to share data for patient safety: 5 takeaways
Quality reporting costs $15.4B per year: 5 things to know

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