DOUGLAS, Wyo. — A nurse in Wyoming has been placed on administrative leave after hospital administrators determined he had been taking a narcotic painkiller intended for patients.

An official at Memorial Hospital of Converse County in Douglas says the theft occurred over about nine months.

Hospital CEO Ryan Smith says more than 400 patients at the hospital may have received a weakened or essentially worthless form of hydromorphone because of the nurse’s actions.

Smith says officials believe the nurse had taken the painkiller and then replace it with saline solution. It’s unknown how much hydromorphone the nurse took over the nine months.

Smith says the nurse apparently took the drug for his own use.

The nurse has not been arrested or charged.

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