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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Seattle hospital urges HIV test for 1,300 after needle swaps

SEATTLE (AP) – A Seattle hospital has urged more than 1,300 patients to get tested for hepatitis and HIV after a former surgery technician was charged with stealing and swapping syringes.

Seattle news station KIRO-TV reports that 28-year-old Rocky Allen has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he took syringes of painkillers and replaced them with those containing another substance. He was arrested in Colorado last month.

Northwest Hospital and Medical Center says the exposure risk is low, but they’re testing affected patients to be safe.

Health officials said Tuesday that they’ll name two more area medical facilities this week where Allen worked.

He worked at Northwest Hospital in early 2012 but was fired. He previously worked at Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington state and was fired from Swedish Medical Center in the Denver area this year.

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