Healthcare News & Insights

Nurse diluted morphine intended for nursing home patients

What’s a little painkiller sharing between friends? Or between patients and their nurses who have a history of drug abuse?

A nurse at a Halstead, Kansas, nursing home has been charged with 10 counts related to drug tampering. The nurse, Deborah J. Riggs, is accused of diluting morphine intended for five of her patients.

Riggs has prior convictions and license-suspensions related to other allegations of stealing or mismanaging prescription drugs. The nursing home she most recently worked at was unaware of her background when it hired her.

The drugs were taken from a rarely used overflow area. When other staffers saw the broken seals on the vials, facility officials initiated an investigation and alerted federal officials.

No patients received the diluted medication.

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