Sarah May Casareto, a 33-year-old Minneapolis nurse was jailed after stealing a surgery patient’s pain medication and then telling him to “man up” moments before he was wheeled into surgery.
And yes, the patient went on to undergo the surgery in agony while the nurse dozed off – high on the drugs that was meant for her patient.
Before screams could be heard down the hall, nurse Casareto shot herself up with the fentanyl she had checked out for her patient. She then reportedly told the patient that there was no more medication for him and that he “should man up here and take some pain.”
Investigators say the patient only received 150 micrograms of medication instead of the 300 micrograms he was prescribed prior to surgery. He was then wheeled into surgery for a kidney stone operation, telling police that hospital staff had to hold him down to finish the procedure.
It felt like “very long needles going through my skin and down into my kidneys,” the victim told investigators.
A technician who assisted the surgeon told investigators that Casareto advised her patient to “go to your beach… go to your happy place” as the patient screamed and moaned.
Hospital staff became suspicious when the patient, identified in the police report as L.V.K., exhibited more pain than usual. The jig was finally up when Casareto allegedly began acting intoxicated, stopped attending to the patient and even fell asleep. Hospital staff later found her in possession of empty syringes with the labels peeled off.
When hospital administrators demanded that she submit to a drug test, Casareto refused and resigned her position instead. She later admitted to police that she was addicted to pain medication.
Hospital officials have not commented on the case and declined to explain why doctors and nurses would continue to operate on a patient who showed obvious signs of severe pain.
Casareto, who resides in Forest Lake, was booked into the Hennepin County Jail on a charge of theft of a controlled substance. Prosecutors plan to ask for jail time instead of the probation normally called for under sentencing guidelines.
The victim, who reported the incident back in December has since recovered from the surgery and has retained a lawyer.