BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Roswell Park confirmed Thursday that a former employee removed a narcotic from syringes and replaced it with water earlier this year.
Those actions are believed to have caused several patients to develop infections, a statement from Roswell’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Boris Kuvshinoff said.
No patient deaths resulted from the incident.
All patients who developed infections were treated with antibiotics.
Patients who may have received medications from altered syringes have been notified by the hospital.
“The impact of the opioid crisis in our region has wide-reaching ramifications,” the statement said. “Because this issue, which was reported by Roswell Park to local, state and federal authorities, is under active investigation, we cannot comment further.”
Legal analyst Barry Covert said his firm is seeing an increase of drug diversion cases. He says if investigators can prove an employee diverted narcotics, the employee could face criminal charges.
“You have a number of misdemeanors and felonies that the person of the target of this investigation could potentially be subject to. If there were injuries to the patients, those patients could bring, potentially, a lawsuit against the hospital,” said Covert.
Covert told News 4 a lengthy legal battle is likely for Roswell Park.