When you go to a hospital you depend on having professional and caring workers. All of that came to an end with surgery technician Rocky Allen, 28, at Swedish Medical Center near Denver. Allen is accused of taking syringes of painkillers intended for patients and using the drugs himself. He is also accused of replacing the syringe with another substance; hospital officials are concerned that he may have given the patients the same needle. Compounding the issue is that Allen is HIV-positive.
Allen was caught when he was observed taking a syringe filled with the powerful drug Fentanyl Citrate from an operating room. He was confronted by hospital officials and given a urinalysis and tested positive for Fentanyl. The hospital fired him and federal prosecutors have now charged him with tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit. Incredibly, this is not Allen’s first issue at a hospital or with drugs. Investigators revealed that he has been fired from three hospitals in Arizona, California and Washington. He also served in the U.S. Navy and was the subject of a court martial for his drug use in 2011.
Swedish Medical Center officials are now trying to contact as many as 3,000 patients who were treated at the facility from August 2015 until January 2016 when Allen was terminated. Dr Larry Wolk, chief medical officer and executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, has stated that there has been no transmission of pathogens for patients who have been tested so far by authorities. Investigators have also noted that the hospital had “deficient practice” with pharmacy control of medications.
If convicted, Allen faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison and a possible fine of $500,000.