Suburban nurse stole hospice patients’ morphine for her personal use: feds

CHICAGO — A nurse from the north suburbs has pleaded guilty to federal charges for siphoning off portions of hospice patients’ morphine doses for her personal use, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago announced.

Sarah Diamond, 30, was the assistant director of nursing at a rehabilitation center in Crystal Lake when she removed morphine from bottles intended for patients experiencing severe pain and replaced it with another liquid, officials said. She used the extracted morphine herself. The original federal complaint against Diamond said the morphine was intended for hospice patients.

Diamond diluted one patient’s morphine so it only contained 26% of the dose and diluted another patient’s dose by 53%, according to federal prosecutors. She then administered the reduced doses to patients who had been prescribed the medication for pain management.

Federal authorities said Diamond removed morphine from doses intended for at least five patients at the rehab center during July and August 2021.

She faces up to 10 years in prison on the charge of tampering with a consumer product, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a written statement.