Documents reveal nurse may have drugged patient

Investigation ongoing into nurse found passed out in hospital bathroom

James Hoffman

SANTA FE (KRQE) – New documents show a nurse, who was fired when staff at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center found him passed out, may have drugged a patient as well. James Hoffman, 51, was fired following the incident in November.

According to court documents, snoring coming from a bathroom in the hospital’s emergency department led security officers to Hoffman. The documents state Hoffman was unconscious with a needle sticking out of his arm; he was also found in possession of morphine, anti-anxiety medication and Ketamine, a strong sedative.

Hospital staff told police Hoffman should not have had any of these drugs in his possession, and that a large amount of narcotics were missing from the hospital. Police are still investigating if the drugs came from Christus St. Vincent.

Court documents state that same day one of Hoffman’s patients was acting disorderly, and was later unresponsive in her room. Staff found a container of Ketamine in the room; they told police she had not been prescribed the drug. Santa Fe Police tell KRQE News 13 they are waiting on toxicology reports to see if Hoffman injected the patient with Ketamine.

Two patients’ wristbands had also been switched, according to court documents.

“We are waiting on toxicology results, some of the search warrants and the hospital to see how broad of a case this might expand to,” SFPD spokesperson Celina Espinoza said.

Hoffman was treated and then fired. He faces several drug possession charges, and police say more charges could be coming.

A spokesperson for Christus St. Vincent told KRQE News 13 they are cooperating with police.

The hospital has a random drug testing policy, and tests about 10 employees a month.

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