Attorney Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team are investigating a 2011 outbreak of bacterial blood infections associated with a health care worker diverting narcotics from intravenous (IV) bags. Fred and our other infectious disease lawyers can be reached for a free consultation here.
On February 21, 2011, the St. Cloud Hospital notified the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) of a cluster of unusual bacterial blood infections (including Ochrobactrum anthropi and Klebsiella oxytoca) among patients. Epidemiologists identified 25 patients that had unusual bacteria in their blood. A common factor was that the affected patients were all in the same post-surgical ward and all had received IV-pain-killing narcotics. On March 8, the St. Cloud Hospital informed MDH that a health care worker had admitted to diverting narcotics.
Among the 25 patients who had blood infections, six required intensive care, three had unplanned surgeries and one died within 2 days of their blood infection occurring. Some of the adverse consequences in these patients may be linked to inadequate pain management resulting from the diversion.
This situation and multiple other instances of health care worker drug diversion elsewhere in the country illustrate how serious drug diversion by health care workers can be and the significant impact it can have on patients. Fred wants patients to know that they have legal rights and should contact an attorney to find out if they have a claim for medical expenses and compensation for lost income, pain, emotional suffering and other damages.
Our attorneys represent people sickened by life-threatening bacteria throughout the United States, and they have won millions for their clients, including $4.5 million for one client who suffered kidney failure from a foodborne pathogen. Our offices are in Minneapolis, Minnesota.