Nurse spreads infection to patients by tampering with IV bags

By: March 22nd, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

An investigation is underway after a nurse unknowingly introduced bacteria into 23 different patients while stealing pain medication from patients’ IV bags.

All 23 infected patients were in one hospital unit between October 2010 and early March 2011, and were treated for fever symptoms, reports the St. Cloud (MN) Times. The nurse, unidentified by hospital officials, used a syringe to remove pain medication from IV bags. She then replaced what had been taken with air or saline to make it look as if the medication hadn’t been touched.

The bacteria Ochrobactrum anthropi and Klebsiella oxytoca were found in the patients’ blood. The hospital began noticing an increase in Ochrobactrum anthropi infection in mid-February, and launched an investigation that found others were also infected with Klebsiella oxytoca.

When the hospital started testing medication bags, they found bacteria growing in two bags. It was a supervisor’s suspicions about the nurse that led to the discovery of what had happened. To avoid future events, the hospital has changed its IV bags and will double bag them with an exterior bag to allow staff to see whether they have been altered.

The suspected nurse is currently under suspension and a criminal investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, according to the Times.


By Ranger Nurse on March 22nd, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Now this is something that should be outlawed as a felony!

Is this by chance a type of psuedomonas infection? My sister has had for 4 months and seems no antibiotic combo has cleared it yet.

By tonya trotter on June 6th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

every medical facility should do random drug testing on theier employees,not omly when they suspect hem it should be done anyway,to much free drugs for curious people.


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