HCMC labor and delivery nurse charged with painkiller theft - KMSP-TV

HCMC labor and delivery nurse charged with painkiller theft

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A nurse at Hennepin County Medical Center has been charged with stealing pain medication from the labor and delivery unit.

Heather Sampson, 24, is charged with one felony count of theft of a controlled substance.

According to the charges, Sampson admitted to stealing hydromorphone from HCMC on five separate occasions and injecting the painkiller into her arm. She said the theft started when her own pain medication prescription ran out, and that the last time she stole hydromorphone was on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

HCMC stores its pain medication in a dispensing machine called an Omnicell, which records the time any medication is removed, who removed it and which patient the medication is intended for.

Video surveillance and Omnicell records show Sampson removing medication from the Omnicell, entering a bathroom and later returning the medication cartridges to the machine. Four incidents were recorded between Dec. 31 and Jan. 5.

A search of Sampson's purse turned up a syringe loaded with suspected hydromorphone, a used syringe and other injection equipment. Investigators also recovered a cartridge of hydromorphone that was diluted with water to replace the missing medication before returning it to the Omnicell.

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