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VENTURA : Vials of Blood Found Near Bin

A cooler containing about 30 vials of blood was discovered behind a trash bin in a Ventura office complex Friday.

Authorities said they have no suspects in the dumping of the medical waste, a misdemeanor violation of the California Health and Safety Code.

Custodian Saul Calzada said he was cleaning around the trash bin at the complex in the 5200 block of Valentine Road about 11:30 a.m. when he found the cooler.

Police were notified, and they contacted the Ventura County Environmental Health Department.

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The chest apparently was taken from Western Health Services, in the 2100 block of Eastman Avenue, authorities said.

Employees at the business, which conducts annual physicals for companies, customarily lock the cooler to an outside wall so a courier can pick it up for delivery to a laboratory after business hours, said Clare Murphy, regional director of Western Health Services in Ventura.

The cooler was apparently pried from the wall and taken to the nearby parking lot, authorities said.

“It looks like somebody opened it up, saw what it was and said ‘the heck with it’ and left,” environmental health specialist Dawn Chase said.

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Murphy said the plastic bags containing the vials of blood from routine medical exams were still sealed, and she did not think anyone had tampered with the blood. As a precaution, however, the vials will be disposed of and the tests will be redone, she said.


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