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Swedish Medical Dirty Needles | Colorado Lawyer

Swedish Medical Center Surgical Tech May Have Exposed Patients

Thousands of former surgery patients of Swedish Medical Center may be infected with HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. The local hospital recently disclosed that a former employee may have been using syringes meant for patients in order to inject himself with the narcotic Fentanyl.

Dirty Needles

Fentanyl is a powerful narcotic used by anesthesiologists for pain management after surgical procedures. Fentanyl is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Patients who had surgical procedures between August 17, 2015, and January 22, 2016, were notified by Swedish Medical Center that they needed to be tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

If you’re a former patient of Swedish Medical Center and you’re afraid you may have contracted HIV or hepatitis, contact the Bendinelli Law Firm immediately for your free and confidential consultation. We care and we can help!

Arraignment Hearing Yields New Information

Surgical technician Rocky Allen has plead not guilty after being charged in federal court with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by deceit and one count of tampering with a consumer product. The federal grand jury indictment claims, Allen tampered and attempted to tamper with a syringe containing fentanyl citrate by removing the syringe containing the substance and replacing it with a similar syringe containing “other substances.” Other allegations include Allen acted “with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of bodily injury, and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to such risk.” If found guilty of both charges, he could be facing up to 14 years in prison and have to pay fines up to $500, 000. Allen has been released on a $25,000 unsecured bond and is currently in a halfway house where he is receiving drug abuse treatment.

History of Swedish Surgical Tech Rocky Allen and Fentanyl Drug Abuse

Rocky Allen, age 28, was a surgical technician at Swedish Medical Center and worked in various operating rooms from August 17, 2015 to January 22, 2016. Allen’s license was suspended on January 29. The Order suspending Allen’s license noted that on January 22, “in the beginning stages of a surgical procedure,” Allen “removed a labeled Fentanyl syringe” from the anesthesia work space “and replaced the Fentanyl syringe with another labeled syringe.” The Order also notes that Allen later submitted to urinalysis testing that was positive for Fentanyl and marijuana.

Allen was previously employed and was fired from Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, CA, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Arizona, and John C. Lincoln Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. Allen is also under investigation at Northwest Hospital in Seattle, WA.

A spokesperson for Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, CA says that the DEA was notified on June 7, 2013, of Allen’s attempt to steal the powerful narcotic fentanyl. Allen went on to find employment at least 4 additional hospitals including Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, CO.

According to the Denver Post, Allen’s resume includes:

  • August 2015-January 2016: Swedish Medical Center, Englewood
    Fired as surgical technologist after being caught allegedly removing a fentanyl syringe and replacing it with another syringe.
  • July-October 2014: HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center, Phoenix
    Fired after testing positive for fentanyl while working as a surgical attendant.
  • May-July 2014: Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, Glendale, Ariz.
    Surgical technologist for six weeks.
  • May 2013-May 2014: CMC Contractor Corp. (Department of Defense contractor), Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Yemen
    Experience listed on his résumé.
  • May-June 2013: Scripps Green Hospital, La Jolla, Calif.
    Fired after he was observed allegedly switching a fentanyl syringe that a doctor was using with a syringe filled with saline.
  • January 2012-January 2013: CMC Contractor Corp., Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Yemen
    Experience listed on his résumé.
  • January-March 2012: Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Seattle
    Fired after working there for less than three months.
  • May 2007-September 2011
    Received basic medical training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio; served at Navy Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., in 2007 and 2008; worked as a surgical tech at U.S. Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Wash. Deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and given a general discharge.
    Sources: Individual hospitals, U.S. attorney’s office, U.S. Navy, court records, and Allen’s attorney

Let Our Denver Medical Malpractice Attorneys Help

If you have been affected by these events, please call our law firm today. Our experienced Denver medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you navigate this scary time. If you are a former patient of Swedish Medical Center and you think you contracted one of these diseases, you deserve justice and compensation.