Nurse jailed for allegedly stealing patients’ pain meds
A Tidioute woman is behind bars after allegedly stealing prescribed pain medication from more than 15 patients at a Warren nursing home.
According to investigators, that included switching liquid morphine prescribed to a terminally-ill cancer patient with a similar color of Gatorade.
Kellie A. Gentz, 30, 256 Thomas Lane, Tidioute, was charged by the Pennsylvania Attorney General on Thursday with acquiring controlled substances, five counts of possession of a controlled substance, neglect of care – dependent person, simple assault, theft by unlawful taking and recklessly endangering another person.
She was remanded to the Warren County Jail after a preliminary arraignment conducted on Thursday by District Justice Raymond Zydonik.
Bail was set at $50,000.
Investigators allege in the criminal complaint that Gentz “took… Morphine liquid pain medication and Fentanyl from a medication bottle prescribed to a cancer patient.” They indicate Gentz then took the morphine and “replaced the liquid with similar in color Gatorade to create a fraudulent inventory” before returning it to her medication cart.
Gentz then “administered liquid Gatorade as if (it) was morphine to a terminally ill cancer patient,” the affidavit states.
Investigators said Gentz “also withdrew controlled substances Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Tramadol from an automated medication machine on 110 occasions without administering them involving 17 care dependent patients.” She “destroyed inventory records, re-sealed medication bottle seals and re-taped Fentanyl packages after using the medication.”
See tomorrow’s Times Observer for a full story.