On Tuesday, a class-action suit was filed by three former patients at Swedish Medical Center against the hospital and its owner. The three patients expect to be compensated alleging negligent hiring practices that threatened thousands of patients who underwent surgery since January.

Because the accused was convicted of interfering with narcotics at the Colorado hospital, authorities requested blood tests for over 3,000 people who underwent surgery while the suspect was on duty. The test focused on determining whether the patients suffer from blood-borne diseases.

In February, former surgical technician Rocky Allen was accused and sentenced by a federal grand jury for stealing pain medication from the Denver hospital. Credit: CBS Denver

As a result, three former patients are now in a quarrel with the hospital for monetary damages, alleging emotional distress caused by former surgical tech Rocky Allen. The lawsuit filed on Tuesday, March 9 seeks class action status for those who had surgery at Swedish Medical Center when Allen worked there.

The civil complaint, filed in the United States District Court in Denver by three former patients at the Swedish Medical Center, said federal authorities in the criminal case testified at a criminal hearing last month that the accused is a carrier of an unknown ‘blood-borne pathogen,” according to Reuters.

One careless surgical technician

Allen had apparently removed a syringe containing Fentanyl Citrate from his workplace and changed it for a similar looking syringe at the beginning of a surgery. Worrying, given that thousands of patients have had surgery in the past months when Allen was still replacing medicine with unknown substances. The hospital gave Allen a urine analysis and tested positive for fentanyl, a substance known to get people ‘high’ if consumed in large doses.

The drug known as Fentanyl is used during surgery operations as it alleviates pain in patients. This drug is estimated to be 80 times as potent as morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin said the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Allen was fired from the hospital on February and Swedish notified patients who had surgery done in their facilities they should be tested urgently. However, now three patients seek to make the hospital pay for its negligence in hiring a presumed drug addict that put the lives on patients in danger.

The purpose of the test was to know if contaminated needles had infected patients, yet the three patients suing the hospital are seeking monetary compensation due to ‘emotional distress’ rather than adverse effects after the surgery. The incident took place at the Swedish Medical Center in suburban Denver and suspect Rocky Allen was accused of theft charges just a few months back when the suspect pleaded guilty.

Source: Reuters