PeaceHealth blocks EMS access to emergency drug supply

PeaceHealth will no longer allow emergency medical service staff access to its drug-dispensing cabinets after a paramedic working for an ambulance service contracted by the health system was charged with drugging and raping a woman with medicine commonly found in ambulances, KMTR, an NBC affiliate, reported

Last fall, Eugene Springfield (Ore.) paramedic Edward Augustus Blake was charged with drugging and raping a woman, though it hasn't been proven he used drugs from the ambulance, KMTR reported. This month, prosecutors added another rape charge.

Eugene Springfield Fire provides ambulance services for PeaceHealth hospitals.

"In light of recent local and national cases of illegal drug diversion involving emergency medical services personnel employed by outside agencies, PeaceHealth has decided to end the practice of allowing EMS personnel to access our Pyxis systems to replenish supplies stored on emergency vehicles, effective in June of 2020, " the health system told KMTR.

Nonprofit Vancouver, Wash-based PeaceHealth said it is working to find an alternative source for the emergency medicines. 

Eugene Springfield Fire told KMTR it couldn't comment on its agreement with PeaceHealth for security reasons, but said: "We are actively supporting the criminal investigation and working closely with our regulatory partners to ensure our pharmaceuticals are secure, safe, and appropriately administered every day."

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