MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 43-year-old Kimball, Minn., nurse was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to siphoning medicine from IV bags at a St. Cloud hospital, the Justice Department said.
District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz sentenced Blake Zenner to 24 months in prison on one count of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances. He was also ordered to pay $340,000 in restitution.
Dan Henson, a FDA special agent who investigated the case, said after the sentencing that the former nurse “exhibited a blatant and heartless disregard for the patients he victimized.”
Last September, Zenner admitted that from November of 2010 to March of 2011, he accessed lockboxes and used syringes to remove Dilaudid (aka hydromorphone hydrochloride) from IV bags intended for patients.
Sometimes, he injected the bags with saline solution to make up for the missing Dilaudid.
Zenner’s actions caused about 25 hospital patients to be infected by bacteria, the department said.