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Ex-Sisters Hospital nurse charged with using drugs meant for patients

A former nurse at Sisters of Charity Hospital is facing charges that she injected drugs she was supposed to give patients.

Leyla Samadi, who now lives in Maryland, was arrested and charged with illegally obtaining controlled substances by fraud and faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Burgasser said Samadi tampered with the pain medications Demerol and hydromorphone while working as a registered nurse at Sisters between November of last year and January of this year.

The criminal complaint against Samadi says she would log into a machine that dispenses liquid pain medications, identify the narcotic and patient it was intended for and, once she had the medication, scan the patient’s wristband and medication.

At the core of the case against the nurse is the allegation that, rather than give the medication to the patient, she would inject herself with the drugs.

Investigators say she would then replace the missing medication with saline solution, return it to the dispensing machine and then cancel the transaction by claiming she had selected the wrong medication or the wrong patient. 

Catholic Health Systems, which operates Sisters, released a statement Tuesday indicating it is cooperating with federal authorities in the investigation of Samadi.

The hospital system also said she was hired to work on a per diem basis through an outside staffing agency and was not an employee of Catholic Health.

The charges against Samadi are the result of an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, state Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement and the state Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.