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St. Cloud Hospital Refutes Health Department Report

Steven Wright

ST. CLOUD — The Minnesota Department of Health has released their final report on last year’s outbreak of blood infections caused by a St. Cloud Hospital nurse who diverted pain killing drugs for his own use.

The MDH determined the mysterious bacteria was accidentally introduced into patients’ IV bags. Of the 25 patients infected, 6 were placed in intensive care, three needed emergency surgery and one died two days after being infected.

Meanwhile, CentraCare Health System Communications Director Jeanine Nistler says St. Cloud Hospital respectfully disagrees with the health department’s assertion a patient died as a result of a blood infection that was linked to the drug diversion. Nistler says “their doctors who specialize in infection control reviewed the death in detail on more than one occasion. The patient who died had tested positive for an infection upon being admitted to the hospital. That patient’s condition deteriorated rapidly and it can’t be confirmed whether it was tied to the drug diversion.”

She says “the hospital acknowledges the drug diversion caused the patients to experience unnecessary pain and undergo additional treatment, but they can’t say the returns to surgery and transfers to ICU were a result of the drug diversion.”

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