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Police: Youngwood woman sold heroin out of hospital room

| Monday, April 21, 2014, 1:56 p.m.

A Youngwood woman sold suspected heroin while she was a patient in the intensive care unit at Excela Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg and later from a hospital room, city police said.

The woman also allegedly injected heroin into her IV system while at the hospital, police said.

A confidential informant, who had bought drugs previously from the woman, paid her $90 for 30 stamp bags, or individual doses, Friday night in the hospital room where she had been moved from the ICU, police said.

Authorities said they seized another 342 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.

The woman first went to the hospital on April 14 for an unknown reason.

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 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.

Police said they plan to charge the woman with delivery and possession of a controlled substance.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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