Minnesota Health Officials Release Report on Last Year's Blood Infection Outbreak

The Minnesota Department of Health has released a final report about its investigation into an outbreak of blood infections at St. Cloud Hospital in 2011 that was associated with a healthcare worker diverting narcotics from intravenous bags.


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In February 2011, St. Cloud Hospital notified the health department of a cluster of unusual bacterial blood infections among 25 patients. The MDH and CDC pointed to the possibility that a healthcare worker had inadvertently introduced bacteria into the IV bags while withdrawing narcotics for personal use. This information enabled the hospital to focus on drug diversion as a possible cause of the outbreak. On March 8, the St. Cloud Hospital informed MDH that a healthcare worker had admitted to diverting narcotics.

In May 2011, MDH and the Minnesota Hospital Association invited a coalition of hospital, provider, law enforcement, licensing and other healthcare stakeholders to form a collaborative group to address the issues surrounding health care worker drug diversion.

The coalition completed its work in April 2012 and issued a final report and a road map of resources for healthcare facilities to use to enhance their prevention programs of drug diversions. These resources and the epidemiological report can be found here.

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