DuBOIS — A 24-year-old registered nurse is accused of taking liquid morphine for personal use from the Emergency Department at Penn Highlands DuBois, where she had been employed, according to a criminal complaint filed at District Judge Patrick Ford’s office in DuBois.
On Oct. 28, an agent with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General charged Kaitlin Danielle Rucinski of Penfield with two felony counts of acquiring or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, two misdemeanor counts of furnishing false/fraudulent material information and two misdemeanor counts of intentional possession of a controlled substance by a person not registered.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, an agent was notified by Department of State Investigator Richard John that a complaint was received from Penn Highlands DuBois with regard to suspicious wasting procedures and dispensing of medications by Rucinski. One of the main complaints with Rucinski was an April 26 incident.
On that date, two patients, referred to as PB and CM, were being treated at Penn Highlands DuBois Hospital. PB was being treated for breathing difficulties and CM was being treated for left-side chest pain. According to PB’s medical record, at approximately 1:06 a.m., Rucinski allegedly entered a verbal order into the computer for a 4 mg liquid Morphine (Schedule II) injection to be administered to PB. The injection was ordered by a doctor at the hospital, according to the order.
Then again at approximately 1:32 a.m., Rucinski allegedly entered another verbal order into the record of CM for a 4 mg liquid Morphine injection, the affidavit said. This order was also to have been given by the same doctor as listed above.
Later, when the doctor was reviewing the order entered for his/her approval, the doctor came upon the two orders allegedly entered by Rucinski and was concerned because the doctor did not give those orders, the affidavit said. The doctor immediately notified the charge nurse of the orders. The doctor printed out both orders, wrote on them, “I did not verbally order this medication,” and signed them.
Rucinski was called in by Human Resources and asked about the orders which she allegedly insisted the doctor authorized.
On Sept. 3, the affidavit says the agent met with an emergency department official, who provided him with documentation and later provided the patient records for PB and CM. The agent also spoke with the doctor who confirmed his/her handwriting on the printed orders and that he/she did not give the orders.
On Oct. 15, the agents met with Rucinski, who allegedly admitted to taking the two 4 mg Morphine dosages for personal use. The affidavit said Rucinski allegedly stated during her employment at PH, she had taken liquid narcotics for personal use primarily through false wasting procedures. Rucinski allegedly admitted to loading syringes while at work with liquid narcotics including Dilaudid, Morphine and Fentanyl and then injecting them into her leg at home. She also allegedly admitted to creating the two verbal orders on April 26 for PB and CM knowing that the doctor never issued those orders. Rucinski allegedly admitted she falsely created those orders and took the contents of both 4 mg vials of Morphine for personal use.
Her preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 8 at Ford’s office. Unsecured bail was set at $5,000.