A Nurse Who Substituted Tap Water For Fentanyl Drips May Face Dozens Of Lawsuits

(NewsSpace.com) – Many people think of fentanyl as a killer drug, and while that can be true outside of a medical setting, in a hospital, it’s often used to treat those who suffer from extreme pain. However, the popularity of the drug has also led to theft. One nurse who is accused of swapping out a fentanyl drip for regular tap water is now facing a lawsuit and possibly additional charges.

In Medford, Oregon, the family of a deceased 65-year-old man filed a lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court against Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and named one of its nurses, Dani Marie Schofield, as a defendant in the case. They allege his fentanyl drip was changed out for tap water, from which he developed a bacterial infection and died.

Horace Wilson was admitted to the facility after he fell from a ladder. He suffered an injury to his spleen, which was then surgically removed. As part of his treatment to help with the pain, he was prescribed an IV fentanyl drip. According to the lawsuit, Wilson then began experiencing “unexplained high fevers, very high white blood cell counts, and a precipitous decline.” Eventually, he tested positive for Staphylococcus epidermidis, a treatment-resistant bacteria. He passed away from multi-organ failure.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only case involving fentanyl drips. Justin Idiart is an attorney representing multiple plaintiffs who had their medication swapped out for plain water, and there are others considering litigation, too. All of the patients were treated by Schofield.

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center contacted Medford police in December to notify them of a former employee who was suspected of stealing the synthetic opioid from its facility. There’s now an investigation underway, and Schofield has agreed to a voluntary suspension of her license while the probe is carried out.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Wilson’s estate is seeking $11.5 million in damages, claiming Wilson was likely in pain despite being sedated because of the lack of medication. There could be dozens more lawsuits on the way.

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