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Sarah May Casareto tells patient to "man up" and steals pain meds before surgery

A former nurse anesthetist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital is accused of stealing her patient's medication just before surgery and taking it herself.

When a male patient came in to have kidney stones removed, rather than administer a powerful anesthetic that should have rendered the procedure painless, nurse Sarah May Casareto told him she couldn't give him the drugs.

"You're going to have to man up here," she told him, according to cops. Yeesh!

According to the police report, the patient arrived to the hospital to have his kidney stones surgically removed. Though he was told by his doctor that the procedure would be painless, once he was left in the care of Casareto, she said something that should have sent him running for the door.

"You're gonna have to man up here and take some of the pain," she said. "We can't give you a lot of medication. You're going straight into surgery."

Sarah May Casareto
Sarah May Casareto

The overly trusting patient was then wheeled into surgery without being given the powerful pain med Fentanyl that had been prescribed to him.

Here's the horror movie part. As the surgery began, the doctor inserted a tube through an incision in the patient's back and down into his kidney. The patient -- who should have been completely knocked out -- told cops it felt like "very long needles going through my skin and down into my kidney."

As he screamed and almost lurched up off of the table, one of the technicians had to hold him down. Helpfully, Casareto leaned into his ear and said loudly, "Go to your beach . . . go to your happy place."

Around this time both the doctor and technicians realized that Casareto was already in her happy place. The doctor said at one point she wandered out of the room when she should've been tending to her screaming, writhing patient. Her eyes were red and she couldn't properly attach EKGs to the man. Periodically, she nodded off.

After the surgery was over, the technician noticed Casareto had two syringes with the labels peeled off in her pockets. Then she could not properly account for all of the Fentanyl she had signed out for the procedure.

When Casareto was called into her supervisor's office, they described her as rocking back and forth, and acting belligerent. They found four more empty, unmarked syringes in her pockets, which one of the technicians believed to once contain Fentanyl. They demanded she take a drug test.

"I will resign first before I take a drug test," said Casareto.

Her supervisor obliged her.

When police interviewed Casareto, she admitted that she has been addicted to pain meds in the past. She named Vicodin and Percocet. She was arrested on Tuesday and charged today with felony theft of a controlled substance.


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