Paramedic going to prison for stealing fentanyl from hospital

A former Denver hospital paramedic supervisor has been sentenced to three years in prison for tampering with fentanyl intended for patient use. Over four years, Christopher Robert Pattinson stole about 1900 vials of fentanyl from the paramedic department and tampered with fentanyl vials intended for patient use.

Pattison removed fentanyl vials from a locked narcotics supply cabinet, replacing the drug with a clear liquid believed to be saline, and then returned tampered fentanyl vials to the locked narcotics supply cabinet and placed tampered vials in narcotics kits to be used on ambulances to respond to emergencies. Pattinson concealed his theft by altering the hospital’s narcotics logs and making false entries in the hospital’s records.

The investigation was conducted by the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to a news release from the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“We won’t tolerate medical professionals who put patients at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan.  “Drug addiction is tragic, but it’s no excuse for harming patients – this conduct will send you to prison for a long time.”