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Former Scripps surgical tech is HIV positive, accused of stealing painkillers

Rocky Allen is HIV positive and is accused of stealing painkiller filled syringes and switching them in surgery rooms in western state hospitals
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A Colorado hospital surgery technician with a San Diego connection is being charged by federal prosecutors for stealing syringes filled with pain killers; he has tested positive for HIV.

Rocky Allen worked at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla for 20 days in 2013, before being fired because he was caught switching a patient’s intravenous medication Fentanyl with simple saline reports CBS 8.

Allen has plead not guilty for accusations that he did the same thing at Swedish Medical Center in Denver.   

The concern is that Allen may have used the syringes on himself before returning them to the operating room to be used on patients.

Allen’s public defender says his client may have switched the needles, but there is no evidence that he put them back used.

Doctor Maida Soghikian of Scripps Health said that according to hospital records, she doesn’t think patients were put at risk by Allen, but she believes as a cautionary measure patients who may have been treated while Allen was employed at Scripps should get tested.

The hospital alerted over 500 patients to come in and get free testing, however Scripps says only half took advantage of that recommendation.

According to Colorado prosecutors, Allen has had a long history of hospital employment. They say he moved from Arizona to California and finally Colorado by lying in order to steal drugs.

His history with drug abuse can be linked back to 2011, where he was court martialed by the Navy for stealing painkillers.  

Allen’s lawyer claims that the veteran suffers from post-traumatic syndrome and started using pain killers on his tour as a medical Navy worker in Afghanistan.

Don Stanziano of Scripps said they hired Allen after he passed all of their employment guidelines, “We did a background check, we did a reference check, and he had to undergo a drug screen.”

Still the concern is that Allen was able to get hired time after time in different medical facilities across the west.

“There’s no licensing body for surgical technicians,” Stanziano said. “If this had occurred with someone with a license from the state of California, we would have reported that licensing agency and they would have been flagged”

Any patients who feel they may have had a surgical procedure done under Allen’s employ, are asked to contact Scripps.

Video report HERE.