Trial Set for Woman Accused of Overdosing Patients at Spencer Hospital

A northwest Iowa woman has pleaded not guilty to charges that she allegedly overdosed patients while working at a local hospital.

Court documents show 36-year-old Rachel Martinez from the town of Peterson faces six charges including four counts of wanton neglect of a dependent adult by a caretaker. The other two counts are drug-related charges.

Court documents allege that while Martinez was working as a nurse at the Spencer Hospital in November of 2022, she administered hydrocodone to a patient three times in five hours. That drug was supposed to be given to the patient once every four hours. The same patient was administered another painkiller, Tramadol, four times in seven hours. That drug was supposed to be given to the patient once every six hours. That case is one of six complaints filed against Martinez.

According to court documents, she overdosed two other patients and administered another patient a drug they weren’t prescribed. She is also accused of taking prescriptions out in patients’ names and keeping them for herself.

Martinez’s trial is set to begin May 21st in Clay County District Court.

(thanks to Community First Broadcasting station KUOO in Spirit Lake)

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