July 19, 2024 | 1:32


Theft of fentanyl in Urduliz Hospital raises a health alarm

Theft of fentanyl in Urduliz Hospital raises a health alarm

Jeickson Sulbaran

May 28, 2024 | 8:30 a.m.

The Minister of Health, Gotzone Sagardui, expresses her concern over the disappearance of a high-risk medication, amid ongoing investigations

The disappearance of fentanyl from the Urduliz Hospital has turned on the health alarms in Bizkaia. The acting Health Minister, Gotzone Sagardui, has expressed her "concern" about the theft of this powerful opioid analgesic, considered "high risk." In a recent press conference in Bilbao, Sagardui underlined the seriousness of the incident, remembering that there is an ongoing investigation both by the Ertzaintza and internally by Osakidetza.

As Sagardui explained, the theft was detected during the usual controls that Osakidetza carries out on products considered high risk. "A mismatch was detected between what was recorded in the registry and what was actually available in the warehouse", detailed the counselor, adding that this has given rise to an exhaustive investigation to clarify the facts.

Theft of fentanyl in Urduliz Hospital raises a health alarm

The counselor emphasized the seriousness of the matter, stressing that "We are responsible for these substances and their misuse generates great concern". This incident highlights the importance of rigorous controls and diligent investigations to prevent and clarify similar situations.

The consequences of the theft of fentanyl and the measures adopted by the authorities to ensure health protection in Bizkaia

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used primarily for the management of severe pain, is known for its high potency and risk of abuse. This medication, hundreds of times stronger than morphine, can have devastating consequences if it falls into the wrong hands.

Sagardui highlighted that, after the disappearance of fentanyl was detected, Osakidetza proceeded to file the corresponding complaint with the Ertzaintza, who is currently leading the investigation.. "There is an ongoing investigation where the testimonies, records and processes necessary to clarify the facts will be established," said the counselor.

At the same time, an internal investigation has been launched at Osakidetza to identify possible failures in the control and storage procedures for high-risk substances. This double approach, both judicial and internal, seeks to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to avoid future similar incidents.

In addition to the formal complaint, internal policies and procedures related to the handling of controlled substances are being reviewed. These actions reflect the commitment of Osakidetza and the Department of Health of Euskadi with the safety and well-being of the population.

Reflections on safety in the management of high-risk medications and the need for stricter controls

This incident at Urduliz Hospital serves as a forceful reminder of the need to maintain strict controls and robust safety measures in the management of high-risk medications. The disappearance of fentanyl not only represents a potential danger to public health, but also highlights the vulnerability of healthcare systems to theft and diversion of controlled substances.

Sagardui insisted that the safety and correct administration of these medications are of vital importance. "Evidently, any situation in which a substance such as fentanyl, which is considered risky, does not correspond to the appropriate use, causes us concern," he concluded.

The counselor emphasized the responsibility of health authorities and health professionals to ensure that these incidents are not repeated. This implies not only the implementation of more rigorous preventive measures, but also a culture of surveillance constant and continuous improvement in medication management and control procedures.

The disappearance of fentanyl at the Urduliz Hospital has highlighted the need to reinforce controls and safety measures in the handling of high-risk medications. The ongoing investigations by the Ertzaintza and Osakidetza They reflect the commitment of the authorities to the protection of public health and health security in Bizkaia. This incident should serve as a call to action for all actors involved in the health system, promoting safer and more responsible practices in the management of controlled substances.

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