Exeter Hospital faces lawsuit from latest drug diversion case
BRENTWOOD — A Stratham woman filed a lawsuit against Exeter Hospital for allegedly being a victim of drug diversion by a former EMT who was convicted of taking 100 micrograms of fentanyl.
The lawsuit in Rockingham County Superior Court comes roughly three months after the former EMT, Peter McGlynn, pleaded guilty in federal court to obtaining controlled substances by fraud. He is expected to be sentenced Aug. 28.
The incident happened Jan. 16, months after another employee diverted fentanyl and caused a hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital that left 32 patients infected with the virus.
The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, is a 33-year-old married mother of two from Stratham. She was not infected with any virus by McGlynn. But the woman’s lawyer said her client endured nearly an hour of excruciating pain, until she was given more fentanyl.
Lindsey B. Gray said in court papers that her client woke in the middle of the night Jan. 16 with a sharp pain in her lower right abdomen “so excruciated that she was reduced to the fetal position.”
The woman and her husband drove themselves to the hospital and learned the pain was caused by an ectopic pregnancy, the lawsuit says. An emergency room doctor prescribed 100 micrograms of fentanyl to the woman, and directed a nurse to administer the drug, according to Gray. But the nurse “delegated that important task to Peter McGlynn, an EMT whose primary responsibility was typically limited to providing care outside the hospital setting,” the lawsuit says.
“While in the emergency room, Mr. McGlynn acted strangely and displayed odd behaviors consistent with drug addiction and/or diversion,” Gray said in the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that McGlynn “seemingly designated himself as ‘personal caretaker’, monitoring her progress and refusing to leave her side.”
“He appeared super chatty to the point of nervousness,” Gray said in the lawsuit. “At one point, he tried to stay in Ms. Doe’s room during a gynecological exam, but his presence was barred by hospital staff.”
Former hospital technician David Kwiatkowski was sentenced in December for infecting 32 patients at Exeter Hospital between April 2011 and May 2012 through drug diversion. He spread hepatitis C to unwitting hospital patients by injecting himself with the painkiller, then allowing the dirty needles to be used by patients. He is currently serving a 39-year federal prison sentence.