ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Thousands of blood tests were conducted over the weekend after some Swedish Medical Center surgical patients were concerned about possible exposure to HIV and Hepatitis B and C. One patient received someone else’s letter.
The hospital contacted patients who may be at risk last week by calling or sending a letter. Those at risk
Local father Robert Jacobs says his daughter is included in those at risk but he received someone else’s confidential notice.
“We’re all scared,” he said.
His 13-year-old daughter had surgery at Swedish Medical Center in October 2015. She is now one of 2,900 patients who have been warned that a former employee may have exposed them to HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
“The first thing she asked me is could this disease be terminal. And first and foremost that broke my heart,” Jacobs said.
According to medical licensing records, surgical technician, Rocky Allen is accused of swapping out a syringe filled with fentanyl just prior to the operation and then later testing positive for the powerful pain killer.
Allen was terminated from his position at Swedish after the incident on Jan. 22.
“That’s horrible to hear your daughter ask that.” Jacobs continued.
He was expecting a letter from the hospital with information on how to undergo blood testing and instead receive two letters.
The one meant for his daughter went to an old address. The second arrived at his home on Thursday but was meant for someone else, causing even more worry for him and his family.
“Now with the confusion with the letters that I’m worried that other people are going through the same thing,” Jacobs said.
Wanting answers as quickly as possible, Jacobs and his daughter went to the lab on Saturday.
Now they’ll spend at least a week waiting for results.
“Now we are in limbo… we just have to sit and wait and pray that it’s negative.”
A spokesperson for the hospital says they did resolve the issue with Jacobs. It was unclear if they were aware of any other letter mix-ups.
Allen is currently being investigated but has not been arrested.
Only patients who had surgery at Swedish Medical Center between Aug. 17, 2015 and Jan. 22 in an operating room have been asked to be tested.
Those who had surgery between those dates and want to confirm whether they are included in the testing group can call (303) 728-7140.
Karen Morfitt Joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around metro Denver. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.