UPDATE: St. Cloud Hospital Investigating Bacterial Infections, Nurse Suspended
A nurse at St. Cloud hospital is accused of spreading a bacterial infection by diverting painkillers from IV bags for personal use.
St. Cloud Hospital is working with the Minnesota Department of Health to investigate this unusual blood infection, which has been identified in 23 patients all hopsitalized in the same unit.
Linda Chmielewski is Vice President of Hospital Operations for St. Cloud Hospital. She says the infections were first noticed in October of 2010.
Chimielewski says the narcotic pain killers were not extracted from IV bags while they were connected to the patients.
The nurse in question has been suspended and criminal charges are expected.
Chimielewski says all of the patients have since been discharged from St. Cloud hospital, but have been contacted in the last day.
The investigation, conducted by the DEA and FDA, is ongoing.