The next time you go to the hospital, be careful because you may come in contact with a drug addict. The terrible new reality is that it may be the doctor or nurse that is treating you who is high on drugs. According to a new report by USA Today there are more than100,000 doctors, nurses, technicians and other health professionals abusing prescription drugs. Usually dangerous narcotics such as oxycodone and fentanyl. These doctors and nurses are putting patients at risk for botched surgeries and terrible injuries that would be grounds for medical malpractice.
Another terrible fact is that there are cases in which the healthcare worker injected themselves with pain killers, then filled the syringe which was meant for the patient with saline and injected them. This means that the poor patient had no pain medication and even worse it put them at risk for diseases. This was the case when nearly 8,000 people in eight states needed hepatitis tests after David Kwiatkowski, an itinerant hospital technician, was caught injecting himself with patients' pain medicine and refilling the syringes with saline. He infected at least 46, mostly in New Hampshire.
As Virginia (VA) medical malpractice injury lawyers we have seen the devastating and life-long injuries that a patient treated by a negligent doctor suffers through. We can only hope that this report will spur changes in the medical community. Safeguards to detect and prevent drug abuse in other high-risk industries rarely are employed in health care. No state has universal drug testing requirements, and hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities almost never do so on their own. Many institutions also lack video surveillance and high-tech systems to track dangerous drugs.