A nurse at St. Cloud Hospital is suspected of transmitting a bacterial infection to patients when she diverted some drugs for personal use.
Hospital officials say at least 23 patients were infected with an unusual blood-borne infection between last October and early this month.
St. Cloud Hospital spokeswoman Jeanine Nistler said an investigation suggests the infections occurred when a nurse inadvertently introduced bacteria into intravenous bags of painkillers while diverting drugs for personal use.
"We have suspended the nurse and a criminal investigation is underway," Nistler said. "Our highest concern is for patient safety, and we want the public to know that we are investigating this rigorously and we're working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health to identify exactly what happened."
Nistler said it appears all affected patients were successfully treated with antibiotics before they were discharged.
"We've had no individual who has died or been seriously ill as a result of the infection to the best of our knowledge," Nistler said. "However, we have contacted all of these 23 individuals and we ask that they or anyone else who thinks that they may have been impacted by this, to contact the hospital so that we can be certain."