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First Glue, Now Tape?

December 7, 2009 – 6:27 pm

Demerol has been victimized again.

The U.S. Department of Justice United States Attorney District of New Hampshire reported that Trinidad Smith, of Manchester, NH, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging her with violations involving consumer product tampering and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or deception. Smith was a registered nurse licensed by the State of New Hampshire Board of Nursing.

According to the press release, “Smith admitted to tampering with Demerol and Dilaudid syringes and vials that were maintained in a Pyxis machine for dispensing to patients at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center.  Smith admitted that after removing the drugs for her personal use, she replaced the medication in the syringes with saline and returned the tampered syringes to the machine for future use by patients.”

Tape may have helped Smith cover up her tampering. “Examination of the syringes revealed that their tamper-resistant seals were cut or visibly broken with tape placed over the seals,” the release reads.

First super glue, now tape. I haven’t seen a picture of these syringes, but I wonder how staff could have ignored tape. The press release doesn’t offer more details about the case, so I hope nurses or other staff caught on to the scheme before patients were exposed to the compromised product.

Shouldn’t tamper-evident packaging actually make tampering evident?

Or would placing these syringes in secondary packaging, like blisters, pouches, or form-fill-seal packages, better help to indicate a breach?

Daphne Allen

  1. 2 Responses to “First Glue, Now Tape?”

  2. A reader asked me for some tamper-evident solutions. Here is what I found:

    By dallen on Jan 28, 2010

  3. This is crazy! Firstly that she’d do this as a trusted member of society – a nurse – and secondly that not one colleague would have noticed? Tape? Anyhow, why weren’t they using Tamper Evident Tape that would have shown up her actions?

    By Blue Sky on Feb 9, 2011

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