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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
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Nurse Arrested After Infecting Patients

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In an unfortunate case of medical malpractice, a nurse suspected of theft of painkillers during surgical procedures is believed to have infected at least 15 members of military service or their relatives with hepatitis.

The nurse, retired Army captain Jon Dale Jones, was placed under arrest in Miami, Florida earlier in March and charged with assault of three of those patients and possession of a controlled substance through fraud.

According to federal prosecutors, Jones is believed to have spread the disease in 2004 during surgical procedures at a military hospital in El Paso, Texas by diverting fentanyl, a powerful painkiller often used as an anesthetic, from patients to himself.

The outbreak, followed by a criminal investigation that lasted nearly three years, apparently did not prevent Jones from continuing to work as a nurse in Texas in addition to at least two other states and Washington, D.C. Jones, 45, pled not guilty and has been released on bond.

It is unclear how Jones allegedly transmitted the potentially fatal illness to patients, nor is it clear how he was able to obtain the drugs intended for the patients during surgery. He has denied having used dirty needles.

According to court records, the alleged victims included the son of a former commanding general of Fort Bliss, an active-duty soldier, a retired Marine Corps gunnery sergeant’s wife, and a retired Army chief warrant officer.

Michael Volk, an attorney representing eight infected patients has filed suits against Jones and the nursing agency which employed him at the Army hospital. The suit claims the infections resulted in irreparable harm and forced the patients to undergo extensive, aggressive medical treatments.