Police in Oregon are investigating claims that a former hospital employee switched intravenous medication with tap water.
The Medford Police Department revealed on Wednesday that it was contacted in early December by Asante Health officials.
The department was reportedly informed about a former employee who was allegedly stealing controlled substances that were prescribed to patients.
"Additionally, there was concern that this behavior resulted in adverse patient care, though the extent of the impact on those patients is yet to be determined," the Medford Police Department stated.
Two families told the Rogue Valley Times that they were informed a nurse at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center replaced pain medication meant for their loved ones with non-sterile tap water.
The patients reportedly developed infections and died.
“It’s shocking that somebody can do this," Diane Rogers, who lost her husband, told the Rogue Valley Times. "The least they could have done was use bottled water.”
Since news reports about the allegations began surfacing, the Medford Police Department said it's received numerous calls from individuals asking whether their family member was impacted by the alleged actions of the former hospital employee. The department said it was informed that Asante has "identified the involved patients and have notified or are in the process of notifying them or their families."
"We would like to acknowledge the community’s concern with this case and ask for patience and understanding as this investigation is complex and ongoing," the department stated.
Scripps News reached out to Asante to get more information about the allegations and former employee.
Asante would not give specifics, but provided the following statement: "We were distressed to learn of this issue. We reported it to law enforcement and are working closely with them."
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