DENVER – The Latest on former surgery technician in Colorado testing positive for HIV (all times local):
Colorado state health officials say they found problems with drug tracking at the Denver area hospital where a surgery technician was reportedly seen stealing syringes filled with painkillers.
The technician, Rocky Allen, has pleaded not guilty to federal charges and is awaiting trial. Prosecutors say Allen is HIV-positive.
In a statement Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it had completed its investigation into Allen's conduct at Swedish Medical Center and found deficiencies in pharmacy services, including drug auditing procedures, infection control and surgical services. The department says tracking controlled drugs was addressed in a hospital plan to address the problems.
Hospital spokeswoman Nicole Williams says Swedish would have no comment on its drug control practices while the legal case against Allen is pending
Federal prosecutors in Colorado say a hospital surgery technician accused of stealing painkiller syringes is a carrier of HIV.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver released the information Wednesday about Rocky Allen as part of a plea for patients who may have been infected by him to be tested.
Authorities haven't previously described Allen's health status. Court officials only referred to a "blood-borne pathogen" during a hearing in February when he pleaded not guilty to stealing medicine at Swedish Medical Center in suburban Denver. There have been no reported cases of HIV among the approximately 2,500 people tested there.
The case has also led to warnings to patients at other hospitals where he worked in Arizona, California and Washington to be tested.