GREENSBURG, Pa. - Police say charges are planned against a Youngwood woman believed to have sold heroin while she was a patient in the intensive care unit at Excela Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg and later from a hospital room.
According to Greensburg police, a confidential informant paid the woman $90 for what was believed to be heroin Friday night.
Authorities said they seized more than 300 stamp bags, two syringes and $1,420 from the woman's hospital room. The heroin is worth about $3,800 on the street, authorities said.
Hospital staff and the director of hospital security became suspicious because of the number of people visiting her, police and hospital officials said.
One visitor who was questioned didn't know the woman's last name, authorities said. The security director then contacted city police.
In an emailed statement, Excela spokeswoman Jennifer Miele said:
“The Intensive Care Unit at Excela Westmoreland Hospital cares for the sickest of sick patients, which is another reason our staff is keenly aware of what is happening in and around a patient's room as they monitor for sudden changes in health status.
“Last week, they noticed an inordinate amount of foot traffic to one room. Rather than visitors who stayed for an hour or more, they saw people coming and going in a matter of minutes.
“Our staff found this to be suspicious and contacted hospital security. Our security staff watched closely from surveillance cameras, and observed the same pattern immediately. Within minutes, Greensburg police were called,” Miele said.
The woman, who first went to the hospital on April 14 for an unknown reason, also allegedly injected heroin into her IV system while at the hospital, police said.
Police said they plan to charge the woman with delivery and possession of a controlled substance.
Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.