Hospital policy concerns after ER nurse fraud

Posted at 6:59 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 06:59:09-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Disturbing allegations against a former emergency room nurse now raising concerns for patients at Lee Memorial Hospital.

28-year-old Alex Rodriguez reportedly admitted to stealing and potentially contaminating patient pain killers while on the job. Rodriguez has since been first and remains in jail on more than 130 felony charges including forgery, fraud, and harm against a person.

A 21-page report details how Rodriguez secretly stole over 100 doses of highly addictive pain killers, such as Oxycodone and hydromorphone, while pretending he was giving them to patients.

He later told hospital officials the pain killers were for personal use, even showing his left arm where he injected himself.

Tests revealed Rodriguez replaced some of the medicine with saline -- a salt and water solution -- a swap he would often do in one of two bathrooms in the emergency room.

The report also states Rodriguez showed a pattern of withdrawing medicine for patients who had been discharges.

Four In Your Corner contacted Lee Memorial to find out how that happened. A spokesperson responded via email, saying in part: "We have numerous checks and balances in place that alert us of unusual activity, which we are reviewing to see if improvement is needed."

The hospital spokesperson also said they aren't aware if any patients were harmed due to Rodriguez's activities.