Nurse accused of stealing pain meds from patient while IV pump is attached
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
A local nurse is accused of putting a patient's life at risk in order to steal pain medication.
Police say Kathy Little, 53, took the meds from the patient's pump while it was still attached to the patient.
The police report says Little was caught trying to take a patient's pain medication from the patient's pump with a syringe.
She was caught after a supervising nurse on duty heard an alarm go off on the medicine pump and went to check on the patient. That's when he says he found Little stealing the drug.
In a statement to Channel 3, Memorial Hospital says, "following standard protocols and taking safety precautions, the RN intervened and the proper authorities contacted."
Little, who was a nurse at Memorial Hospital, wasn't wearing her ID badge at the time.
The police report says Little was trying to steal the drug diluadid, a prescription narcotic in the same class as oxycodone and morphine.
Due to privacy concerns, Memorial Hospital could not say what the patient was being treated for. This drug is commonly used to treat cancer pain and pain after surgery.
Little told police she was in the room to visit with the patient but couldn't give police the patient's name when they asked.
Also in the statement, Memorial says, "the unauthorized employee involved was detained and it was determined there was no harm to the patient. The individual is no longer employed at CHI Memorial."
The police report says the supervising nurse told them tampering with that machine could have cost the patient's life.
Little is out on a $6,000 bond and is due back in court next week.
The full statement from CHI Memorial reads:
"Upon performing a routine check on a patient, a CHI Memorial Registered Nurse discovered an individual at the bedside who was not authorized or assigned to provide care for that patient. Following standard protocols and taking safety precautions, the RN intervened and the proper authorities contacted. The unauthorized employee involved was detained and it was determined there was no harm to the patient. The individual is no longer employed at CHI Memorial."