FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE REGISTERED NURSE IS SENTENCED
FOR TAMPERING WITH SYRINGES AT
SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE MEDICAL CENTER
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE: On March 8, 2010, Trinidad Smith, was sentenced to 30 months in prison by United States District Court Judge Joseph N. LaPlante following her plea of guilty to Tampering with a Consumer Product and Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud on December 3, 2009. At the conclusion of her prison sentence, Smith will be supervised by the U.S. Probation Department for two years.
Smith was a registered nurse licensed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. From September 2007 through April 2008, she worked for the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua, NH. In her capacity as a RN, Smith accessed a secure area containing prefilled syringes of Demerol and Dilaudid, Schedule II controlled drugs. On numerous occasions, she removed these pain medications for her own personal use, replaced the drugs with saline, and returned the tampered syringes and vials to the secure area for subsequent dispensing to the hospital’s patients.
An examination of the syringes revealed that the syringes had been diluted by as much as 92% and that the sterility of two of the syringes had been compromised. None of the hospital’s patients were injured as a result of Smith’s criminal conduct.
The case was investigated by the Office of Criminal Investigations of the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Singleton from the FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Irish.