June 14th, 2024 | 5:44

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Urduliz Hospital: Multiple doses of fentanyl missing

Mairenis Gomez

May 22, 2024 | 7:56 a.m.

They investigate the theft of dozens of doses of fentanyl at the Urduliz hospital

The theft of dozens of doses of fentanyl at the Urduliz hospital has triggered an investigation by both the Ertzaintza and the Department of Health. This powerful opioid, used as an anesthetic and capable of being lethal in incorrect doses, was stored in a safe with access restricted exclusively to authorized personnel.

Context and severity of the theft

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic that is used in the medical field for the management of severe pain, especially in postoperative cases or in patients with chronic diseases. Its potency is approximately 100 times that of morphine, making it a highly effective drug, but also extremely dangerous if used inappropriately.

The theft of this type of medication is particularly concerning due to its potential to cause fatal overdoses. Fentanyl has been one of the main causes of the increase in overdose deaths in various parts of the world, especially in the United States, where the opioid crisis has reached alarming levels.

Details of the incident and ongoing investigations

The theft was recently discovered when a routine inventory was performed at the hospital. The fentanyl doses were stored in a safe deposit box, designed to limit access to only authorized medical personnel. The disappearance of these doses has generated significant concern, not only because of the economic value of the drug, but also because of the risk it poses to public health.

The Ertzaintza has launched an investigation to identify those responsible for the theft. For its part, the Health Department is also conducting an internal review to determine how the incident occurred and what additional measures can be implemented to prevent future thefts. Both investigations are in the initial stages, but they are expected to work in a coordinated manner to resolve the case as soon as possible.

Additional Impacts and Safety Measures

The incident has highlighted the need to review and strengthen security measures in the management of controlled medications in hospitals. Among the possible measures that could be adopted are the implementation of more rigorous surveillance systems, stricter access controls to the medication storage area, and more frequent audits.

The theft of fentanyl not only represents a significant financial loss to the hospital, but also poses serious risks to the community. The medication, in the wrong hands, can be used improperly, increasing the risk of overdose and death.

Medical staff at Urduliz hospital are being interviewed as part of the investigations, and safe deposit box access logs are being reviewed to identify any suspicious activity. Additionally, staff have been urged to take extreme precautions and report any irregularities they may observe.

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