An investigation is underway at the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Oregon following reports of multiple patient deaths. According to NBC5 News, at least one patient’s death is being looked into by the police. Inside sources within the hospital have disclosed that up to 10 patients died of infections contracted at the hospital. It is alleged that a nurse substituted medication with tap water, causing fatal infections. The nurse was reportedly attempting to conceal the misuse of the hospital’s pain medication supply, specifically fentanyl, by injecting intensive care unit patients with tap water.
Medford police have confirmed their active investigation but have refrained from providing specific details. The unsterile tap water led to dangerous infections, particularly pseudomonas, which is especially harmful to individuals in poor health. Dr. Robin Miller, host of the Docs on Call program, stated that infections like sepsis and pneumonia were dangerous for patients already in fragile health. To date, no one has been charged with a crime and the investigation is ongoing.
Asante has declined to provide an interview, instead issuing a statement saying they are cooperating with law enforcement. According to the National Library of Medicine, “diversion” refers to the transfer of a controlled substance from a lawful to an unlawful channel of distribution or use. Fentanyl is one of the most commonly diverted drugs, with 10% of medical professionals engaging in this malpractice. Alleged crimes of this nature are often subject to scrutiny by federal agencies such as the FBI and DEA.
Asante’s Board Chair refrained from providing further comments, stating it is now a police matter. The use of tap water, instead of sterile alternatives, in healthcare facilities poses a significant risk to patient safety. The situation remains under investigation, and the hospital has not provided any further comments.