Nurse Tampered with Opioid Syringes, Serratia marcescens Outbreak Followed

August 16, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Drug diversion by a nurse led to a cluster outbreak of Serratia marcescens at a Wisconsin hospital, according to an investigation published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. Five patients developed the presence of the same gram-negative bacterial strain within 48 hours of admission to the hospital in the spring of 2014. The hospital soon found that four hydromorphone syringes and six morphine syringes had been tampered with. An investigation was conducted and a post-anesthesia nurse was identified as the employee responsible for the drug diversion.

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