Nurse Impersonator Pilfers Pain Meds From Patients

On April 17th at approximately 12:26 p.m. officers were dispatched to a report of suspicious circumstances and theft of narcotics from Swedish Medical Center in the 700 block of Broadway Avenue. 

The actual incident had occurred four days prior. 

Hospital staff told investigating officers that on April 13th at approximately 10:40 a.m. they were contacted about a female suspect that had been in a patient’s room without authorization.  A victim saw the suspect in his room physically manipulating his PCA (patient-administered pain medication machine).  The victim asked the suspect what she was doing.  The victim did not recognize the suspect and knew she was not his regular nurse.  The suspect turned and walked away stating that she would get the victim’s nurse.  When the victim’s real nurse came into the room, she noticed that the victim’s line from his PCA to his body had been cut and that the pain medication was dripping on the floor.  Pry marks on the PCA were also discovered where the suspect apparently tried to pry open the machine to gain access to the pain medication inside.

Shortly afterward there was another report of the same suspect on another floor looking into patient’s rooms.  A hospital staff member asked the suspect what she was doing to which she responded that she was there to check the PCA machines.  The staff member thought nothing of this since earlier two other PCA’s had been taken out of service.  At that point the suspect went into another room where there was family present with a patient.  The suspect acted as if she was checking the PCA when the alarm went off.  As the suspect left the room a family member noticed that there was blood dripping on the floor and saw the lines to the patient’s PCA had been cut.

The only hospital property that appears to have been taken was approximately two feet of tubing from the PCA machines and possibly some pain medication from the tubes. 

NurseSuspect

The suspect is described as a white female in her mid-30’s to 40’s with shoulder-length blonde hair pulled back or in a pony-tail.  She was last seen wearing a blue blouse (similar to hospital staff “scrubs”), black business slacks and shiny black shoes that resembled hospital staff attire.  The suspect used medical terminology and was confident with her answers to questions from other hospital staff.  She appeared very comfortable walking into patient’s rooms and went about her business in a normal fashion.

The suspect remains at large.

Burglary detectives are actively investigating the incident.