We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Nosocomial Pseudomonas pickettii Bacteremias Traced to Narcotic Tampering A Case for Selective Drug Screening of Health Care Personnel

Dennis G. Maki, MD; Bruce S. Klein, MD; Rita D. McCormick, RN; Carla J. Alvarado, MS; Mary Ann Zilz, RN; Susan M. Stolz, MS; Carol A. Hassemer, MS; Joanne Gould, MD; Allen R. Liegel, MS, RPh
JAMA. 1991;265(8):981-986. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460080051031.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Three patients in a university hospital developed nosocomial infusion-related Pseudomonas pickettii bacteremia. Investigation identified six additional patients who had received intravenous fluid contaminated by P pickettii but did not become ill. All nine patients had had surgery, and each of these patients but only nine of 19 operated-on control patients had received intravenous fentanyl citrate in the operating room; the mean dose given to the nine case patients was far greater than that given to control patients. Fentanyl in 20 (40%) of 50 predrawn 30-mL syringes was shown to be contaminated by P pickettii. Contamination was caused by theft of fentanyl from predrawn syringes and replacement by distilled water contaminated by P pickettii. Narcotic theft by health care personnel may cause patients to suffer pain needlessly and can also result in dire unanticipated consequences, such as nosocomial bacteremia. Whereas drug testing in the workplace is highly controversial, we believe that testing of health care personnel is indicated when drug abuse or theft is suspected.

(JAMA. 1991;265:981-986)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.