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Pittsburgh nurse accused of switching patient's Oxycodone with sedative

Tiffany Hafner was arrested Tuesday after turning herself in, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office is prosecuting the case

PITTSBURGH — A registered nurse at the UPMC Magee Women's Hospital has been arrested for stealing a patient's Oxycodone prescription, according to a press release issued by the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Tiffany Hafner turned herself in to Pittsburgh authorities Tuesday, Shapiro said. She faces charges of Neglect of a Care-Dependent Person, Violations of the Controlled Substance Act, and Theft by Unlawful Taking.

Hafner is accused of switching her patient's Oxycodone medication with Lunesta, a sedative. Her actions denied the patient important pain relief, Shapiro said.

“As we’ve seen in this crisis, we owe a debt to the thousands of medical professionals in Pennsylvania who are enduring a prolonged crisis to save lives and keep us safe, but when someone abuses that trust we will hold them accountable,” said Shapiro. “This defendant abused her position when she stole medication from a patient and left them in pain. We will not tolerate the neglect of the vulnerable Pennsylvanians.”

The patient, after realizing she was not getting pain relief from the medication Hafner was giving her, kept one of the pills, Shapiro said. She later asked other hospital officials to identify it. 

The officials said the Lunesta was brought in from outside their facility, according to Shapiro.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Katherine Jordan, Shapiro's office said. The investigation is ongoing. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.