Snohomish nurse pleads guilty to stealing patients’ pain medication

Jolene Larsen, 38, a licensed practical nurse at Merry Haven Care Center in Snohomish, Washington for 14 years has pleaded guilty to a single count of product tampering in the theft of morphine medications. In her plea, Larsen admitted to acting “with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of bodily injury” and held “extreme indifference” to the pain potentially caused by her actions.

The Seattle PI.com reports that Larsen admitted to substituting tap water with morphine. The diluted medication then was administered to at least one patient in the care center.

As part of her guilty plea, Larsen admitted that she stole morphine between November 2009 through May.

Larsen is free on bond until sentencing. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

Theft of narcotics in nursing homes by employees is a common problem. Medical professional are addicted to drugs at about a 2 percent higher rate than the general population. Thefts can happen when a nursing home does not count narcotics after every shift or when nurses are negligent in dispensing medications.

Theft of medications intended for patients can endanger the patient’s treatment and quality of life.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured by medical malpractice and nursing home abuse and neglect. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

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Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.