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Months in Prison for Former Nurse

SCRANTON — A woman from Wayne County gave up her nursing license last year when she was arrested for tampering with and stealing patients’ drugs at a hospital in Scranton. Now, Lisa Cowger is behind bars for the crime.

Lisa Cowger of Honesdale was arraignment in Scranton back in November of 2012. Her arrest revealed a shocking year-long investigation into Cowger and crimes she committed while working as a nurse at Moses Taylor Hospital in 2011

Other nurses noticed that vials of morphine for patients had been tampered with and diluted with saline, simply salt water.

Earlier this year, Cowger pleaded guilty to felony charges and a judge has now sentenced her to 11 and a half months to 23 months in the Lackawanna County Prison.

Cowger told the judge she took doses of morphine for herself and admitted to giving her patients doses diluted with salt water.

Prosecutors say Moses Taylor Hospital cooperated with the investigation as they tried to figure out how many patients received the tampered drugs.

Even though prosecutors don’t know exactly how many Moses Taylor patients were affected, they said they do know no one overdosed on morphine because they received diluted doses previously . Those patients did suffer from more pain though, that’s why prosecutors said Cowger was charged with assault and that added to her sentence.

“When I was approached initially by investigators and it was described to me, I was appalled. Who would think you’re lying a hospital bed and you’re in pain and someone’s telling you you’re getting pain medication and you’re not getting it,” said Assistant District Attorney Shane Scanlon.

Lisa Cowger voluntarily gave up her nursing license when she was arrested. After she serves her sentence, a judge ordered her to do 100 hours of community service.



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