Sarah May Casareto denies stealing patient's pain medication

Categories: Crime
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Sarah May Casareto denies being a Fentanyl junkie.
In a statement from her attorney, former nurse anesthetist Sarah May Casareto is flatly denying charges she stole a patient's medication before surgery and used it herself. Instead, she claims that Abbott Northwestern Hospital is trying to avoid blame for the patient's nightmare-inducing kidney stone operation.

"Abbott is clearly using Mrs. Casareto as a scapegoat to avoid a potential multi-million judgment," writes attorney Max Keller.

Casareto was supposed to give Carver County Sheriff's deputy Larry V. King enough of the pain-killer Fentanyl to render his kidney stone removal virtually painless. Instead, she told him he'd have to "man up here and take some of the pain."

Abbott Northwestern Hospital blames the nurse for the horrific, painkiller-deprived surgery.

Once under the knife, King told police that he could feel the tubing being inserted through his back and down into his kidney. One a scale of one to ten, he rated the pain at nine.

Meanwhile, the doctors and technicians in the room say Casareto was behaving strangely, knocking things over and nodding off as her patient writhed in pain.

After the operation about 50 micrograms of Fentanyl were unaccounted for. After finding empty syringes with the labels peeled off in her scrubs, Casareto's supervisors demanded she take a drug test. She refused and no longer has a job.

She was arrested last week and charged with felony theft of a controlled substance.

Now, Casareto is accusing her former employers of lying. She'd been away for nearly a year on medical leave and he was back on the job against her doctor's orders, she says.

"My employer Abbott knew I had just come back from medical leave," she wrote in the statement. "Instead of gradually easing me back into work, they threw me immediately into the lion's den."

Her attorney says the "man up" comment was just a friendly pep talk to warn King that he might experience some pain even while properly medicated.

"Mrs. Casareto's employment records from Abbott show that her hospital supervisors repeatedly praised her for being a compassionate nurse," writes Keller. "Intentionally subjecting a patient to undue pain is the last thing that Sarah would ever do."

Her first court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow.

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Having worked in a multidisciplinary law firm I would like to make a couple comments. #1 - making an insinuation against a former spouse in this high profile case provides enough identifying information to cause them harm and calling them disgruntle can fall under the libel and slander definitions if they experience a negative image as a result of the comments entered. They're names need not be revealed. #2 - proving a medical malpractice case is extremely difficult. We've had cases where proving the permanent injury criteria is very difficult even in the most obvious scenarios. Our firm is guarded against cases claiming pain because it is not a highly regarded criteria under the eyes of the law to hold medical professionals liable. If it was that simple, there would be a lot of women who have been under medicated that suffered excruciating pain during childbirth not to mention the thousands of procedures done that the patient's report as being excruciatingly painful. This woman is very sick and needs help. If this man did experience the procedure as described it is awful and never should have happened. Hopefully the nurse and other addicted professionals will get the help they need and the hospital will improve their safety measures. Best to everyone and thankfully the man has returned to work and is doing well!


Ha, so now we have a disgruntled ex wife offering her two cents...


This story sounds odd. Would the staff really stand by and force an excruciating procedure to the point of being barbaric? It seems plausible that she gave the patient his ordered dose and took extra out for herself but that would mean she stole from the hospital not him and he's taking advantage of the situation to claim extraodinary circumstances. She said that nobody got 500 mcg and the average was 50 - 200 mcg. He is reported to have gotten 150 mcg. Can any other anesthetists out there speak to this? Sounds like this guy gets special attention because he's a cop. I heard he was fired by his own department improper conduct with females while on duty and got his job back through arbitration. In the hennepin county courts and he has had two ugly divorces and a outstanding judgement for his previous wife for money he was ordered to pay her ten years ago. Sounds like he is trying to take an opportunity to get a windfall by using a drug addicted nurse. She needs help and the situation is sad but sounds like he's trying to take advantage of her improper conduct while she was on duty. Did anybody get a windfall from his improper conduct while on duty? Very interesting legal triangle between this guy, the sick nurse, and the hospital.


We actually work in the hospital and don't know his ex-wife at all DB. Funny how when the actual facts are challenged, people like you try to distract and blame people who have nothing to do with the situation. You must be his current bitter wife.We know info you and his ex wife don't.


the patients life history is not necessary here, what we know is that he was not given enough sedation before he went into surgery, and as he result he was moaning and kicking with pain, there was even a talk, between nurses and doctors that he be restrained during the procedure, I would imagine that this is like being skinned alive and no body should go through this much pain.


The point is he doesn't seem to be "manning up" with the truth and it is about his life history if his motive is leading this circus. You missed the point Ken, it appears as if he was given enough pain medication and there are so many questions as to how many professionals in that room including the nurse manager called down to observe this nurse, could allow a situation that he is now claiming. He's a police officer, if it happened November 8th, he knows police would take a report in the hospital so why did he wait until December 2nd? You don't know that he wasn't given enough pain medication and that's the point you missed and the discussion that needs to happen and why his motive has to come in question before such painful charges are believed about the woman and the hospital.


Experiencing multiple kidney stones myself and having had fentanyl previously I can tell you that with the procedure that he had he did not have the amount of medication that he should have to "not feel any pain" as the doctor had been quoted in multiple articles on this story. I can see that amount of medication may be enough after that kind of procedure but, definately not during. I wouldn't wish anyone the kind of pain I know he felt during that procedure no matter what history he had.

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