ONLY ON NBC5: Sources say 8-9 died at RRMC from drug diversion

MEDFORD, Ore. – Sources say several Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center patients are dead and police are now conducting a criminal investigation.

NBC5 News broke the story last night (12/29/2023), that police were investigating at least one patient death at Rogue Regional Medical Center.

Now several Asante sources are shedding more light into this tragedy.

They say a handful of patients died; some say nine, others ten as a result of infections at the hospital.

They say it was caused by a nurse switching medication with tap water.

Multiple sources say an Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center nurse injected multiple patients with tap water in an attempt to cover up their misuse of the hospital’s supply of pain medication, specifically fentanyl.

We’re told inside RRMC’s intensive care unit, as many as nine or ten people developed infections and died.

Medford police declined to provide details, only confirming it is investigating a situation at RRMC.

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

The host of our Docs on Call program, Doctor Robin Miller says that type of infection can be very dangerous in people in poor health; exactly the kind of people you’d find in a hospital’s ICU.

Dr. Miller said,

“It could cause sepsis, pneumonia, it could infect all the organs, so it could be a very severe infection.”

At this time no one has been charged with a crime.

But it needs to be repeated, police are still investigating.

NBC5 previously reached out to Asante on Friday (12/29/2023) about these allegations.

It declined an interview but provided a brief statement:

“We were distressed to learn of this issue. We reported it to law enforcement and are working closely with them.”

Asante’s Board Chair declined further comment, but said it is now a police matter.

Meanwhile, Dr. Robin Miller says switching out a patient’s medication for personal misuse, what our sources say the nurse did in this case, is called ‘drug diversion.’

Dr. Miller said,

“You don’t think of medical professionals doing this, but 10% of medical professionals divert drugs. 10%… That’s a lot.

According to various reports, fentanyl is one of the most commonly diverted drugs.

It happens across the country in hospitals.

But what Dr. Miller doesn’t understand, is why tap water was allegedly used.

She says there should be sterile options available that wouldn’t put patients at risk.

In addition to local police, this type of alleged crime is often investigated by federal agencies, like the FBI and DEA.

We reached out to both agencies for comment, we haven’t heard back.

Stay with NBC5 news for updates on this developing story. Please contact us if you have information related to this story: [email protected]

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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