A registered nurse was arrested last week after allegedly stealing drugs and other controlled substances from Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Georgia.
Lindsay Burke, 33, was arrested by the Chatham-Savannah Narcotics Team (CNT) once authorities were alerted about missing narcotics and other medical items, reports WTOC.
An investigation determined Burke was removing drugs and items such as syringes and IVs from the hospital for no medical purpose. All of the missing items were later recovered.
“It’s definitely an unusual case. People within the medical profession take a medical oath, just like law enforcement takes a similar oath, and that’s something they should take very seriously,” said Gene Harley with CNT.
Drug abuse amongst nurses can impact patient safety, hospital budgets and a nurse’s career. According to this study from the American Nurses Association, about 10 percent of nurses become dependent on drugs.
That means, out of the almost 3 million registered nurses in the U.S., there are nearly 300,000 nurses who abuse drugs or are addicted to drugs.
Harley says Burke had attempted to take the drugs from a highly secured area of the hospital that has a strict protocol to access, according to WSAV 3.
The drugs taken included Lorazepam, morphine, “as well as some other narcotics that perhaps may not be controlled but still require a prescription.”
“We were able to make contact with her to recover the items that were taken all prior to her leaving that day or leaving the campus and she was arrested there at the hospital,” said Harley.
CNT says video surveillance also played a role in this case and it appears Burke was acting alone.
Burke was charged with multiple felonies including drug charges and theft by taking. She has been released from jail on bond.
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