Nurse Charged With Taking Painkiller From Patient

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Prosecutors say a Minnesota registered nurse who was supposed to sedate a patient before surgery instead withheld most of the painkillers, giving the patient such a small dose he was writhing in pain.

Thirty-three-year-old Sarah May Casareto of Forest Lake was charged Wednesday with one count of theft of a controlled substance, a felony.

The complaint says a man went to Abbott Northwestern Hospital on Nov. 8 to have kidney stones surgically removed. Before the surgery, Casareto allegedly told him to “man up.”

The complaint says the man felt severe pain during the operation, while Casareto acted strangely and fell asleep. The patient only got about one third of the required Fentanyl, while syringes were found in Casareto’s pocket.

“Instead of giving him the drug she gave him only part and took some herself,” said Hennepin County Prosecutor Michael Freeman.

The medication sheet shows she gave the patient 150 mcg and wasted another 300 mcg, leaving 50 mcg unaccounted for.

She then told the patient, “you’re gonna have to man up here and take some pain because we can’t give you a lot of medication you’re going straight into surgery.

It was her colleagues in the operating room that noticed something wasn’t right.

“Her fellow medical professional noticed her slurred words and her comments and confronted her and after some denial she did confess to police that she was addicted to pain reliever,” said Freeman.

In a statement, Abbott Northwestern Hospital said, “Due to confidentiality we cannot discuss current or former employees. She no longer works at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Patient safety is our primary concern.”

According to the county attorney, the hospital did nothing criminal and is working with investigators in the case.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Shane G says:

    Sad. There goes your Nursing Career. All that hard work and schooling for nothing. Nice income, and now you are gonna suffer the rest of your life because it will always be on your record when you apply to McDonalds or Burger King. And they won’t even hire you now.

  2. rach says:

    when are they going to start drug testing nursing? all i ever hear about is this

    1. Sachay says:

      You only hear about this because that’s what the news will report. There are thousands of nurses in the US and there are always going to be a few bad apples. If a nurse looks sedated or drugged up, his or her colleagues are going to speak up.

      1. Chuck says:

        She can always go into politics.

  3. Jake says:

    I wonder if she would tell her husband or son to just “man up” if they needed surgery? I kind of doubt it. This shows how powerful drugs are to the rational side of the brain. I have to ask how many other patients did not receive the proper dosage. I think we might be hearing more complaints now from people who had her as a nurse.

    1. Wesly says:

      They will research it. found a thief once myself

  4. Peter Malm says:

    That’s really darnest nurse steals a hospital drugs.. They should check a A/D test backgrounds before they hired in. It’s the law have every companies required to check any criminal backgrounds, if they have found a file of criminal backgrounds from the law enforcement agencies they don’t hire the bad person anymore.

    1. K. says:

      Criminal background checks are done on nurses when they are hired but this may not show if someone has a drug addiction problem. I am a nurse so I know that this is done.

    2. MeanJeans says:

      Im a RN at abbott and A criminal background ia done every year. I am also not opposed to alcohol and drug testing

  5. Shane G says:

    Whose a Nurse in the Twin Cities?? What is the average yearly salary? I’m thinking of becoming one!

  6. Joe Seely says:

    I had one pass the size of a small pea and they gave me a fentenol shot and sent me home with something just a bit stronger than hydrocodone till it passed so I can only imagine what he must have gone through!

  7. I'm Tho Tupid says:

    They say that passing kidney stones can be as painful as giving birth. I think we should get Miss Casareto pregnant & then force her to go through childbirth without any medication & then do this3 to 4 more times & then call it even. Or maybe that’s not really something our court system would approve of.

    1. sb says:

      Many women go through child birth with out pain killers. Poor comparison.

  8. j Koller says:

    I had peas for dinner

  9. Cyndi C says:

    O.k….why did the other nurses and doctors not act and stop this nurse at the time of the surgery?! That is scary to me. If they saw she was acting drunk and not o.k. why was she allowed to continue. All others involved should be held accountable and reprimanded for allowing her to continue to act.

    1. K. says:

      You’re not reading this very closely. The other professionals in the room did stop it and got involved. This is why she is no longer working at this hospital.

  10. JT says:

    THIS is why when meds are given there needs to be MORE THAN ONE PERSON standing there verifying the medication and dose given to the patient. Then people like this cant hurt patients by skimming their meds!

  11. Nancy Aleshire says:

    Pull some of her teeth without novocaine and let her experience pain. And also put her in jail and suspend her nursing certificate.

  12. DJAbraham says:

    People will always figure out a way to steal dope – make sure the punishment is severe enough. And yes – kidney stones is a horribly excruciating experience.

  13. red says:

    Shane G become a Nurse and be laid off, I know 4 of them who have been laid off since October

  14. Riley says:

    I feel for the patient who received substandard care and hope this RN finds treatment for her addiction. It should also be noted that this was a Nurse providing sedation under then direction of the Doctor performing the procedure. This WAS NOT a Nurse Anesthetist! CRNAs are licensed to provided anesthesia independent of an Anesthesiologist supervision or in collaboration with an Anesthesiologist. CRNAs typically have Masters or Doctoral degrees and provide excellent care to their patients. Addiction doesn’t discriminate! Doctors, Nurses and people in general are all victims of addiction and unfortunatley this patient suffered because of it.

  15. KML says:

    I WAS GIVEN A PARALYZING DRUG BY A NURSE ANESTHETIST LAST SEPT IN ABBOTT/NW BEFORE SURGERY. I WAS ALREADY PARALYZED FROM THE WAIST DOWN FROM A SPINAL AND SHE “DREW UP AND MISLABLED” THIS DRUG -GAVE IT TO ME IN MY IV. IT STOPPED MY BREATHING AND I WAS AWAKE AND COULDN’T MOVE OR TELLL ANYONE !!!! I GUESS I PASSED OUT AND THEY HAD TO INTUBATE ME. I’VE ASKED THEM TO PUT IN PLACE A PROCEDURE THAT WOULD HAVE SOMEONE MONITOR THE “DRAWING UP AND LABELING” OF SURGICAL DRUGS. HASN’T HAPPENED ! AND I’M TOLD I HAVE NO BASIS TO SUE BECAUSE THERE ARE NO LONG TERM PHYSICAL EFFECTS – BUT LET ME TELL YOU – THERE ARE LONG TERM MENTAL EFFECTS !!

    1. insignificant says:

      ah,man…thats hard to hear about …you should still consult a lawyer

  16. insignificant says:

    put her butt on the operating table unsedated and cut ‘er like a fish…woman up!

  17. concerned says:

    Good nurse ratchet is gone,,,,she now can woman up

  18. jessie says:

    Check out her facebook page! A friend posted a link on her wall! She has a small child! He should be taken from her! Send her a message on facebook ppl!

    1. jessie says:

      Just search her name…it will come up!

  19. Jeffrey Lee Wilson says:

    poor guy. i can’t even imagine. this goes to show that nobody is safe from addiction. she needs serious help.

  20. Judith Wolseth says:

    This is happening more often than anyone knows. It happened to me during a surgery to cut a new channel in my eyeball for fluid drainage. I could not talk, could just moan and grip the sides of the table. New procedures MUST be put in place (not just hospitals, but surgical centers too) to prevent people from waking up during surgery!!

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