Rocky Allen, the Denver-area “serial infector” who made national headlines in February after his indictment, has now tested positive for HIV. In addition to hepatitis B and hepatitis C, some 3000 patients who were potentially exposed to Allen’s tainted needles may now have something new to worry about. The 28-year-old former Army medic who was court-martialed for stealing Fentanyl while serving in Afghanistan is now facing charges of tampering with a consumer product and deceitfully obtaining a controlled substance.
After being tested several times, Allen’s results for hepatitis, fortunately, turned out negative, leaving many relieved; however, there are still nearly five hundred who have not completed their follow-up appointments and another five hundred who haven’t been tested at all.
State health officials in Colorado have not yet confirmed any HIV transmissions, but they are adamant that anyone who had surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood between 17 August 2015 and 22 January 2016 should be immediately tested. If you have questions about Swedish, call 303-788-5000.
A chief medical officer with the Colorado Department of Public Health says that there can be no definitive proof that Allen hasn’t infected anyone until every patient who falls under that timeline gets tested.
According to state authorities, Mr. Allen allegedly took a syringe containing Fentanyl, an opiate that can be as much as fifty times stronger than morphine, from an anesthetist’s cart. He then replaced it with another labeled syringe on 22 January. Prosecutors say the replacement syringe contained another substance, likely saline.
In March, five more hospitals in Colorado, Arizona, California, and Washington were also told to notify former patients of potential exposure to HIV and hepatitis. Like other serial infectors, such as David Kwiatkowski, it seems Allen moved around to different facilities until he wore out his welcome.
Allen has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Colorado. His case is scheduled to go to trial in August 2016. If you believe you may have contracted HIV or hepatitis from a medical facility, please contact Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. for a free preliminary consultation at 800-777-4081.