HIV-Positive Nurse Who May Have Infected Patients Through Hospital Narcotics Supply Voluntarily Surrenders License
Jacqueline Fillingim, the HIV-positive nurse who may have infected patients at the South Texas Regional Medical Center in Jourdanton, Texas, with HIV by "tamper[ing]" with the hospital's supply of the narcotic Demerol, voluntarily surrendered her nursing license to the State Board of Nurse Examiners on Monday, the Associated Press reports. By relinquishing her license, Fillingim agreed to charges that she issued the drug without a doctor's order, failed to properly document administration of the drug and inappropriately used the narcotic (Associated Press, 4/2). Hospital administrators last Wednesday sent letters to more than 1,000 former patients urging them to come in for free HIV tests after the hospital discovered that Fillingim, a nurse in the hospital's intensive care and surgical wards from June 2001 through early January, had been illegally injecting herself with Demerol from the hospital's drug supply and may have tainted vials of the drug if she used the same needle to refill the drug vials with saline to avoid detection of the drug thefts (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/28). The state first sought to revoke Fillingim's nursing license last month, and no criminal charges have been filed so far (Associated Press, 4/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.