Officials investigate infections at Minn. hospital

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2011 11:38 PM

A Minnesota hospital says it has suspended a nurse pending an investigation into whether the nurse inadvertently introduced unusual bacterial infections into more than 20 patients while stealing pain medication from IV bags.

St. Cloud Hospital said Wednesday that none of the patients became seriously ill or died as a result of the infections. The 23 infected patients have been notified.

Linda Chmielewski, the hospital's chief nursing officer, says the nurse apparently used a syringe to remove the pain medication from IV bags and replaced it with either saline or air to make it appear the level of pain medication had not changed. The bacteria involved are not usually found in people.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating.

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Information from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com