Replaced With Saline Solution During Surgical Procedures
NOV 29 -- (Merrillville, IN) – Nanette J. Eichenberger, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), was arrested November 20, 2006 on federal charges of product tampering and obtaining a Schedule II controlled substance by fraud and deception. Eichenberger was the subject of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The joint investigation revealed that Eichenberger substituted fentanyl, a narcotic used as an anesthetic in surgery, for saline in syringes prepared for medical procedures at her place of employment as a LPN. She is alleged to have injected herself with fentanyl and allowed unwitting patients to receive saline instead of the fentanyl during surgical procedures.
“It is unfathomable that a person in a position of trust, as Ms. Eichenberger was, would put the well being of patients in jeopardy to satisfy her drug addiction,” stated Gary G. Olenkiewicz, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Chicago Field Division. “The DEA is proud to have been in a partnership with the FDA and FBI during this investigation.
Eichenberger’s arrest prevents her from any future diversion of controlled substances from the medical office where she was employed. The diversion of controlled substances is handled by Investigators from the DEA’s Diversion Group. Diversion Investigators work cases that involve, but are not limited to, physicians who sell prescriptions to drug dealers or abusers, pharmacists who falsify records and subsequently sell the drugs, employees who steal from inventory and falsify orders to cover illicit sales, prescription forgers, and individuals who commit armed robbery of pharmacies and drug distributors.
The case is being prosecuted out of the Northern District of Indiana by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Berkowitz.