The Hennepin County Attorney's office filed charges Wednesday against a nurse for allegedly stealing and using pain medication intended for a surgery patient.
The complaint says last fall, Sarah Casareto was working as a nurse during a kidney stone operation at Abbott Northwestern hospital. Casareto was supposed to give the patient pain medication to numb him for the procedure. But according to the complaint, the patient said he was in so much pain that one of the hospital staff had to hold him down.
The patient alleges that Casareto was showing signs of intoxication and fell asleep at one point during the surgery. Other hospital staff allege that Casareto slurred her speech and was belligerent. Later, staff found four empty syringes of what they believed to be pain medication in her scrubs.
A hospital representative said Casareto no longer works at Abbott Northwestern and wouldn't comment about her. "The safety of our patients is our primary concern," the representative said.
According to the complaint, Casareto resigned after refusing to take a drug test.
Later, Minneapolis police officers questioned Casareto, who told police that she had been dependent on pain medication.
Casareto was charged with theft of a controlled substance -- a felony.