Ex-Nurse Hid Patients Medication
DALLAS (AP) _ A former nurse said he stashed the medication intended for dozens of patients in his locker when he got too busy to administer the drugs.
Three of the nurse’s patients who did not receive their medication have died, and prosecutors are trying to determine whether their deaths had anything to do with the withheld prescriptions.
St. Paul Medical Center discovered the breach in November _ 10 months after David Mark Anthony, 29, was fired for reasons unrelated to patient care, hospital spokeswoman Ann Harper said.
Anthony’s locker was opened, and administrators found dozens of plastic bags containing intravenous medicine with patients’ names on the labels, she said.
Ms. Harper said hospital officials turned over the information to the district attorney’s office in February after an internal investigation confirmed that 74 patients had not received their prescribed medication.
Anthony was employed at the hospital from May 1991 until January 1997 and worked in several areas of the hospital, including its cardiac care unit, Ms. Harper said.
Anthony said he failed to give medication 157 times. He said his actions went undetected because he signed each patient’s chart to indicate that the medication had been administered.
``I would never intentionally hurt anyone, certainly not the patients,″ Anthony said. He said there was not enough time to give all of the medication to some patients, ``so I just didn’t do it.″