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June 21, 2014 04:16 PM

Documents: Iowa Hospital Patients Not Told Of Risk

Des Moines, IA

Documents in an unemployment benefits case show that a Council Bluffs hospital administrator resigned his post last year after his superiors refused to tell patients that surgical instruments used on them hadn't been properly sterilized.

Robert Owen Burgin was a registered nurse and the infection-control specialist for Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. State records show he resigned April 12, 2013, after making several attempts to get permission to tell two patients they were at risk of infection from blood-borne pathogens.

Documents say a supervisor threatened his job when he persisted.

The matter became public when Burgin filed for unemployment benefits and the hospital challenged his claim.

A judge has ruled for Burgin, saying Burgin resigned for good cause.

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