Medford police continuing to investigate drug diversion claims at Asante

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Medford Police Department released a statement Wednesday regarding the ongoing investigation into claims of drug diversion that may have led to patient deaths at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.

Multiple Asante sources, who do not want to be named, tell NBC5 as many as eight or nine Rogue Regional Medical Center patients died as a result of drug diversion.

They say a nurse in the intensive care unit replaced fentanyl medication used for pain, with tap water.

Our sources tell us the tap water, which is not sterile led to multiple infections of pseudomonas, which is a waterborne bacterium.

According to the department, it was contacted by Asante early last month in regard to a former employee who they believe was involved in stealing controlled substances that were meant for patients. Police say while the impact on these patients is undetermined, there are concerns that the theft resulted in adverse patient care.

MPD has received several calls from community members concerned that family members, who were or are patients at the hospital, may have been impacted. According to police, Asante has identified all patients affected and are in the process of contacting those individuals or their family members.

Last Friday, Asante officials released the following statement: “We were distressed to learn of this issue. We reported it to law enforcement and are working closely with them.”

On Wednesday, the FBI confirmed that it is aware of the allegations but are directing all inquiries to Medford Police.

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