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Wisconsin nurse investigated for patient infection death

Accreditation Insider, December 30, 2014

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Wisconsin police are investigating a former University of Wisconsin (UW) Hospital nurse on an allegation that she fatally infected a patient with a pathogen in March, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Police took biological samples from Stefanie A. Jones, 31, to find traces of a bacterium called Serratia marcescens. The samples were taken as evidence for a possible charge of second-degree reckless homicide, according to a search warrant filed on December 23.

The investigation is trying to determine whether an outbreak of Serratia marcescens is related to a series of morphine thefts from UW Hospital in which Jones was identified as the culprit. Jones was arrested in June but has not been criminally charged with the thefts. Police said Jones took syringes of morphine and hydromorphine intended for patients more than 40 times between October 2013 and March 2014.

In October, police were notified that infectious disease doctors were investigating whether Jones was linked to the Serratia marcescens outbreak. Jones’ father was admitted to UW Hospital in March and diagnosed with the pathogen, and the same strain of the bacterium in his system was linked to five other patients, including one who died in March.

Read the Wisconsin State Journal report here.



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