Former Hospital Employee May Have Tampered With Patient’s Drugs
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The KDKA Investigators have learned that police are investigating a former UPMC St. Margaret’s employee.
Sources say she may have tampered with at least one patient’s medication, putting them in danger of being exposed to diseases like HIV or hepatitis.
Sources tell investigator Marty Griffin that the employee was hired last summer as a phlebotomist, taking blood from patients, but that hospital officials immediately became suspicious when the woman was found lingering in patients’ rooms, and was in an intensive care unit where a vial of Dilaudid disappeared. She was fired after that incident.
Sources say in January the former employee was admitted to St. Margarets as a patient and was caught in a male patient’s room apparently tampering with his IV which contained the powerful painkiller Dilaudid.
The patient was immediately tested for HIV and hepatitis. The tests came back negative. The former employee agreed to be voluntarily committed to Western Psychiatric Hospital for treatment.
Sources say investigators are trying to determine if the former employee tampered with any other patients’ drugs.
If so, they will have to decide whether to notify any patients the woman came into contact with, recommending that they also be tested for hepatitis and HIV.
No comment from UPMC, where officials say by law they are prohibited from releasing information about the woman and her history as an employee and a patient.
Sources tell KDKA-TV that the woman could be arrested next week.
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