A Navy veteran is in hot water after swapping syringes on the job, possibly infecting over 1,300 patients in hospitals across the country.
According to KIRO7, 28-year-old Navy veteran Rocky Allen has been arrested in Denver, CO last month, federally charged for diverting and tampering with medications in a way that could have exposed patients to HIV and hepatitis.
Allen is accused of switching out needles containing the narcotic painkiller Fentanyl with needles containing other substances.
Allen’s LinkedIn profile states, “My training through the military has made me a very strong leader, one that peers seek out knowledge and guidance from and has taught me that the only way I can be successful is to make my employees successful.”
Holly Hoskins, a Denver attorney representing several former patients at the Denver hospital, says her clients have tested positive for blood borne pathogens and there are reports of other positive tests.
“These are patients that had surgery at Swedish Medical Center during the time period that Rocky Allen was a surgical tech. They were tested by LabCorp and they tested positive for blood-born pathogens”, Hoskins said.
Allen worked at Northwest Hospital in Seattle in early 2012 but was fired. He previously worked at Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington and was fired from Swedish Medical Center in the Denver metropolitan area earlier this year. Officials state that they will soon release the names of two or more medical facilities this week.
According to KDVR, Allen was fired from four hospitals before getting hired by Swedish Medical Center in August.
While the chance of the 1,300 patients being exposed is quite low, all medical centers involved want to conduct tests in order to be safe.
Allen served in Afghanistan and was court martialed by the Navy in 2011 for stealing the very same drug. The record of that court martial would have been available to any of the hospitals before they hired Allen, meaning that they either ignored the records or failed to do a background check.
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