Pregnant nurse steals dying patients’ painkillers and replaces them with saline solution


Painkillers (illustration) 
By: Feng Qian

A nurse was arrested on a charge of tampering with drugs after being accused of stealing painkillers from her patients and replacing them with saline solution, according to police in Canada.

Now, 29-year-old Laura Denouden of Ontario, has been convicted of numerous counts after stealing drugs while working as a nurse at the Providence Care Palliative Care Unit at St. Mary's of the Lake Hospital.

According to the police, the pharmacy of the St. Mary's of the Lake Hospital, detected a problem with some of its drug vials.

Hospital employees noticed problems with the seals of some of the vials of hydromorphone, but it was initially thought to be a manufacturing problem.

The vials were sent back to the manufacturer, and they suggested that the problem was occurring in the hospital as the safety caps have been removed from 10 vials.

The painkillers have been removed and replaced saline before being glued shut. Denouden coworkers told investigators that she took extra shifts frequently and entered the narcotics room frequently.

When Denouden was on maternity leave, she was seen entering the narcotics room and leaving the hospital through a back door.

Denouden had used the drugs for herself throughout her pregnancy, and her baby was born prematurely and addicted to painkillers.

Denouden admitted that she was addicted to morphine and hydromorphone, and had been stealing daily for two and a half years.