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Tech swapped fentanyl for saline solution, Iowa hospital says

DES MOINES, Iowa – A Des Moines hospital says a pharmacy tech has admitted that he removed a potent painkiller from hundreds of vials and replaced it with saline solution.

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines spokeswoman Amy Varcoe says Methodist Medical Center contacted 731 patients after learning of the tampering, saying they may not have received full doses of fentanyl.

Varcoe said Thursday that the hospital believes about 250 vials were affected. She says she doesn’t know how many of the patients contacted received vials containing saline. She says the patients are not in danger.

The tech has not been arrested and Varcoe says she doesn’t know what he did with the fentanyl.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating. The Associated Press left a message for a spokeswoman for the federal agency seeking comment.

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