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Posted March 27, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Nurse suspended after stealing drugs from Winchester Medical Center patients

By Sally Voth

A former Winchester Medical Center nurse accused of stealing drugs has been suspended by a state agency.

The Virginia Board of Nursing suspended the license of Kim Lee Smith Lerch Lewis, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., on Feb. 1, according to online board documents.

A statement of particulars filed in the case states that Lewis diverted 244 mg of intravenous Dilaudid from multiple patients between June 7-Aug. 5.

"Ms. Lewis accomplished the diversion by withdrawing the medication from the Pyxis machine more than 75 times during this time period and then failing to document the administration, wastage or return of either all or part of the medication she withdrew," the statement says. "On at least one occasion, on August 4, 2012, she documented the administration of medication to a patient who had not received it."

She's also alleged to have diverted 2 mg of Ativan "for her personal and unauthorized use by withdrawing medication for Patient H nearly two hours after Patient H had died," the statement says.

Lewis is also accused of taking 80 mg of Oxycontin meant for another patient last summer, according to the statement.

While at work on Aug. 5, Lewis is said to have "appeared extremely sleepy and was unable to verbalize her change-of-shift report."

Additionally, the board alleges that when Lewis applied to work for Valley Health in March 2012, she left out that she had been fired from facilities in Maryland and West Virginia. The statement claims she had attendance issues at both places, and "multiple discrepancies involving narcotics" at one.

A public listing couldn't be found for Lewis.

Valley Health declined to comment on the matter, according to spokeswoman Carol Weare.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com

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