A newly released report alleged that a Washington emergency room nurse was suicidal when she used her patients’ narcotics for herself before injecting them with the same needle—essentially exposing thousands to Hepatitis C.
The document, obtained by People, stated that nurse Cora Weberg, 31, injected the narcotics “with a plan to end her life.” Originally arrested on suspicion of two counts of second-degree assault, Weberg was released from jail Monday and denied being a drug user as well as a carrier of Hepatitis C, according to CBS News.
Nevertheless, the state of Washington reportedly has suspended her license. Weberg admitted she infected at least two patients with the virus when she “diverted injectable fentanyl and hydromorphone from the hospital (Puyallup’s Good Samaritan Hospital) for her personal use,” according to state records.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Weberg was arrested last week while trying to cross the Canadian border. Police said they don’t believe Weberg was trying to escape prosecution as she planned a vacation to Guam before her legal troubles arose.
Her alleged actions have led the hospital to reach out to 2,600 patients who received injections of narcotics, antihistamines or sedatives at the emergency department while Weberg was on duty between August 4 and March 23. The affected patients will be checked for Hepatitis B, C, and HIV, according to KCPQ.
Alarmingly, People reported that an updated probable cause complaint released Tuesday stated that authorities have located two more patients who were infected with Hepatitis C due to Weberg’s actions. The updated document also alleged that Weberg told investigators that she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C “a couple of years ago”—contradicting previous reports stating that Weberg was unaware she had the virus while working at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Spread through contaminated blood, the Mayo Clinic explains that Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause liver inflammation and liver damage. While patients with Hepatitis C were required to take weekly injections or oral medications, recent advances in medicine has made Hepatitis C curable with pills taken every day for two to six months.
The Mayo Clinic noted that about half of all people living with Hepatitis C don’t know they’re infected with the virus.
“This is a terrible allegation,” Weberg’s attorney, Bryan Hershman, said during a news conference Friday, according to The News Tribune. Hershman also claimed his client didn’t use needles she used for herself on her patients.
“I hope we all stand back and take a deep breath and really look at what the evidence says. To date, I haven’t seen what evidence they have that would prove she intentionally infected anybody.”
[Featured Image: Cora Weberg/KOMO video screengrab]