Health Care

The surgery syringes the nurse prepared should’ve had pain meds. They had saline

She walked 2,575 miles to honor addiction victims

Jessie Grieb walked from Maine to Key West over the past year to raise awareness of the nation's opioid crisis. She lost her brother to addiction four years ago on June 14, the day she arrived in Key West.
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Jessie Grieb walked from Maine to Key West over the past year to raise awareness of the nation's opioid crisis. She lost her brother to addiction four years ago on June 14, the day she arrived in Key West.

A St. Petersburg advanced practice registered nurse has had her license restricted after, the Florida Department of Health says, her hospital found she stole pain medication, including some meant to be used during a surgery.

Jenny Rasmussen’s Department of Health online entry says she’s been an advanced practice registered nurse since 2010. According to a National Provider Identifier database, Rasmussen’s specialization is as a nurse anesthetist, an advanced practice nurse who administers anesthesia for surgery.

The DOH dropped the emergency restriction order (ERO) on her license on Aug. 22.

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The ERO says Rasmussen worked for Tampa Bay Anesthesiology Associates at Advent Health Zephyrhills in Zephyrhills when staff there found Rasmussen was giving fentanyl and midazolam to patients instead of more commonly used propofol.

Fentanyl’s a Schedule II pain medication, meaning it’s very addictive with tight parameters governing its medical use. Midazolam is used for sedation before medical procedures. Propofol, the ERO says, is injected to patients to induce anesthesia and sedates patients in intensive care.

“(Advent Health) staff also noticed that Ms. Rasmussen’s patients were in a gerat aount of pain after surgery although the amount of medicaiton Ms. Rausmussen documented she administered should have made the patients feel comfortable,” the ERO read.

The Advent Staff began suspecting Rasmussen was stealing medication. On July 12, a surgery got delayed while the syringes Rasmussen prepared for the surgery got tested.

“The syringes Ms. Rasmussen prepared should have contained fentanyl and hydromorphone (a pain medication),” the ERO said. “However, the lab results determined that the syringes contained saline and neither fentanyl and hydromorphone were present.”

A week later, Rasmussen was asked about this.

“Ms. Rasmussen admitted to (Advent Health) staff that she diverted the medication for personal use and stated that she was relieved her diversion was discovered.”

She was fired. Her licenses are restricted from “practicing in any setting in which she has access to controlled substances.”

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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