Patient reportedly told Washington hospital about accused nurse, forced injections last fall

A former Puyallup, Wash.-based MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital patient reportedly informed hospital officials in August 2017 former hospital nurse Cora Weberg — who has been accused of infecting at least two patients with hepatitis C — had been "forcing injectable pain medications" on her during her stay at the hospital, the patient's lawyer told The Seattle Times.

The patient, identified by the publication as a Puyallup woman in her 30s who had been receiving treatment for back pain last fall, said through her lawyer Ms. Weberg injected her with pain medication without her consent.

"[The patient] didn't want any medication, but [Ms. Weberg] told her, 'Well, sorry, that's our policy,' and proceeded to inject them into her IV bag anyway," the patient's lawyer said during a phone interview with The Seattle Times May 7. "My client recalls crying about this, not only because they just completely ignored her protests, but because she felt the nurse did it in a way that was — well, she wasn't gentle about it, let's just say."

The attorney said the patient filed a complaint with the hospital and received a brief phone call from a patient's advocate. However, she felt "nothing was really done" about the incident, according to the patient's lawyer.

"Our concern is, what did the hospital know and when did they know it," the lawyer said. "If this nurse was involved, and she indeed is the source of this outbreak, the hospital certainly knew as early as last summer about the concerns of her medication practices. So, what if anything did they do about it?"

Ms. Weberg, 31, has been accused of infecting at least two patients at the Puyallup hospital with hepatitis C, including a man who tested positive for the virus and has filed a lawsuit against the hospital. Police arrested Ms. Weberg, who no longer works at the institution, last week near the U.S.-Canadian border, but as of May 7, had not charged her with a crime. Ms. Weberg's lawyer said she has since been released from jail, according to The Seattle Times.

MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital officials announced the possible infection of two patients last week, and issued a recommendation to 2,600 patients who were treated in the hospital's emergency room during an eight-month period between August 2017 and March 23 to receive testing for the infection. Approximately 900 of those patients had been tested as of Sunday, hospital officials told the publication.

Hospital officials said during an investigation Ms. Weberg had "admitted" to stealing injectable drugs and had tested positive for hepatitis C. However, Ms. Weberg's lawyer claimed the woman was scapegoated by the hospital after officials learned of the possible infections.

"My client did not stick anyone with a needle. My client did not pass hepatitis C to anyone. In fact, we still don’t even know if she even has hep. C," Ms. Weberg's lawyer said.

A spokesperson for MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital told The Seattle Times via email, "We have not been served with this lawsuit and, therefore, can't comment on it."

To access The Seattle Times report, click here.

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