Former surgical tech tests HIV positive; compromises 1.5k patients: 5 key points

A former surgical technician who allegedly stole painkiller syringes tested positive for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, putting nearly 1,500 patients who underwent surgery at risk, according to The News Tribune.

Here are five key points:

1. During 2011 and 2012, the tech, Rocky Allen, worked at Northwest Hospital & Medical Center in Seattle. Mr. Allen was fired in March 2012 for touching a propofol syringe on an operating room cart after hospital officials told him not to "linger" close to the anesthesia cart.

2. The hospital sent more than 1,300 patients who underwent surgery between 2011 and 2012 letters regarding Mr. Allen and their potential risk for HIV as well as hepatitis B and C.

3. Lakewood Surgery Center (Colo.) sent letters to nearly 135 patients who had surgery at the center in late 2011 when Mr. Allen was a tech at the center.

4. Officials are concerned Mr. Allen had replaced needles he already used with needles intended for patients undergoing surgery. Mr. Allen's attorney argued, despite evidence showing his client may have switched the syringes, there is no mounting evidence that proves Mr. Allen was reusing them.

5. There are currently no reports of patients becoming infected due to Mr. Allen.

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