A.G. Schneiderman Announces Indictment Of Long Island Nurse On Charges Of Attempting To Cover Up Morphine Overdose Of Patient

LPN Vicki Price Allegedly Covered Up Error Even After Patient Was Taken To Hospital

Schneiderman: We Will Hold New York’s Health Care Professionals To The Highest Standards

HAUPPAUGE – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the unsealing of a felony indictment charging Vicki Price, a licensed practical nurse, in connection with a morphine overdose of a wheelchair-bound resident at Bayview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, at 1 Long Beach Road in Island Park. If convicted, Price, 46, faces up to 4 years in prison.

“New York’s health care professionals take an oath to care for their patients – and that care is their first duty,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Our most vulnerable patients deserve our care, and my office will pursue justice when our basic tenets of care are not met. There is one set of rules for all caregivers, and those rules must be enforced.”

The overdose was allegedly caused by Price, who administered morphine instead of a prescribed muscle relaxant to a 46-year-old resident on February 16, 2012, and then attempted to cover up her mistake by allegedly falsifying documents. Price did not reveal the mistake even after the resident, who suffers from spina bifida, lost consciousness and was admitted to Long Beach Medical Center.  The resident was released from the hospital five days later, after being treated with Narcan, a medication used to counter the effects of an opiate overdose.   

Price, of Freeport, is charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, or an incompetent or physically disabled person, in the second degree, a class E felony; one count of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a class A misdemeanor; one count of wilful violation of the public health laws, an unclassified misdemeanor; and two counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, a class E felony.  She faces up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison if convicted. She is no longer employed at the nursing home.

The charges are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in Court.

Price was arraigned today in Nassau County Court before Judge Anthony Paradiso.  She was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court on October 16, 2014.

The case was investigated by Special Investigator Christopher Ward and Regional Chief Investigator Greg S. Muroff.  

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Megan Gallagher, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Hauppauge Regional Office. Jane Zwirn-Turkin is regional director for the Regional Office. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

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