Former Detroit nurse charged with swapping pain reliever in vials, syringes with another liquid

Mary Cheatham charged with tampering with a consumer product

Syringes. (Manu Fernandez, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – An Ypsilanti woman swapped out pain relief medication inside vials and syringes and replaced it with another liquid while working as a nurse in Detroit, officials said.

Mary Cheatham, 41, of Ypsilanti, is accused of tampering with vials and syringes containing hydromorphone, which she knew were intended to be given to critical care patients for pain relief, according to authorities.

Officials said Cheatham removed the hydromorphone and replaced it with another liquid before returning the vials and syringes, knowing they would be given to patients.

At the time, Cheatham was working as a licensed registered nurse at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, officials said.

“In order to protect the health and safety of our citizens, we take crimes like this seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute health care workers whose theft of drugs put patients in harm’s way,” Acting United States Attorney Saima Mohsin said.

Cheatham is charged with one count of tampering with a consumer product.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.