Boston paramedic allegedly tampered with drugs, infected patients

The paramedic reportedly tampered with powerful painkillers and sedatives and administered them to patients

BOSTON — Boston health officials say a paramedic may have tampered with drugs and infected almost 60 people with blood-borne illnesses.

The unidentified paramedic may have tampered with syringes that were full of painkillers and sedatives, such as morphine and fentanyl, and administered them to patients being treated in his ambulance, according to Fox 25.

"Although EMS's review of transport records for these patients showed no indication of adverse health outcomes as a result of the medication they received, the department decided to inform them out of an abundance of caution for their safety," said a statement from Boston EMS.

Officials say the tampering occurred during a six-week period in summer 2011. They are in the process of notifying potential victims and are offering free medical testing.

Although seven people believed to have been treated by the paramedic have died, officials said their deaths are unrelated to this incident.

"It is unclear at this time how many of the 64 patients actually received compromised medications, but the group represents a very small subset, approximately 0.4%, of the 16,968 patients encountered by EMS during the time period in question," Boston EMS said in the statement.

They also said there is no reason to believe that the paramedic in question has any infectious diseases himself.

A criminal investigation is under way, and the paramedic has not been working since the incident was discovered in Sept. 2011.

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