A nurse from Burnsville was charged Friday with stealing or tampering with patient’s pain medication at a Minneapolis nursing home.
Daniel Thomas, 56, took medication from locked carts to which he had the key and watered down containers of morphine, according to court document. Other nurses caught him and his wife admitted to police that he was stealing drugs, the document said.
“Once again, we have a nurse whose duty is to relieve suffering doing the exact opposite and causing a patient more pain,” Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman said. “Other patients would also have suffered but for the keen eyes of the other nurses and the quick response by the nursing home’s staff and administrators.”
At his first court appearance, Thomas was given the option of a conditional release from jail as long as he made future court appearances, remained law-abiding and didn’t work or volunteer at any medical care facilities.
According to the charges, he gave patients smaller doses or watered down their pain medication three times during January 2013. He was seen with a medication cart outside a room where the patient had been taken to the hospital and would sometimes take the cart out of view of surveillance cameras, the document said.
Police searched his home and found syringes used to dispense medication in the trash and empty pain medication packets with a patient’s name on it. Thomas didn’t have personal prescriptions for morphine or oxycodone, the document said.