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Published: Thursday, 5/9/2013

Police probe theft of radiology films

Items kept at Wood County Hospital


Authorities are investigating the theft of radiology films of between 2,000 to 2,500 patients stolen in March from a Wood County Hospital storage room.

Catharine Harned, director of marketing and business development for Wood County Hospital, said the radiology films were among those being prepared for destruction through recycling.

“The individuals who committed the theft gained access posing as subcontractors that the vendor retained for recycling,” Ms. Harned said. She said footage of the suspects was recorded by cameras and the hospital is working with the Bowling Green Police Department to identify the suspects.

Officials believe the films were stolen to recover raw silver from the film, Ms. Harned said. She added that the hospital is unsure specifically which patient films were taken.

“The thinking is, that they were stolen specifically for the silver, so the only way that could be obtained is from the destruction of the films,” she said, adding it is unlikely that the films are still in existence.

Ms. Harned said theft of the films for silver has happened at other hospitals. “There have been other hospitals — not to my knowledge in this area — where a similar issue has taken place,” she said. The films can be melted, and the silver extracted and then sold.

Films contained patient names, medical record numbers, date of exam, and in some cases, date of birth, officials said. The hospital is working with the police department and plans to install a new security system and implement other security measures for the records facility, Ms. Harned said.

Anyone who may have had radiology films taken at the hospital should call 855-322-6427 with questions and concerns.

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