A nurse with a VA hospital in Pennsylvania really didn’t want to go to work one night when he was called in to assist with emergency surgery. According to reports, he showed up drunk. He’s being charged for assisting with the surgery under the influence.
Richard Pieri of Luzerne County confessed to investigators that he had been drinking on the night of February 4 when he was called into work. Pieri had just returned home from a casino when he got the call that he would be needed to assist in an emergency appendectomy.
Surveillance footage shows Pieri stumbling through the parking lot before he enters the hospital. He went on to assist with the surgery, though his co-workers noted that he wasn’t acting himself that night. The nurse had trouble logging into the computer system and mis-logged the time of the surgery. One of his co-workers reported him to the hospital administration.
“Patient safety is paramount,” said VA Medical Center’s William Klaips. “We want to be sure our patients are safe. As soon as we were notified of the event, we made sure there were no unsafe situations for our patients and then we did the further investigations.”
According to police, Pieri admits he’d been drinking and that he knew it was wrong to go to work while intoxicated. He claims he’d forgotten he was supposed to be on call that night.
Peiri has been charged with recklessly endangering another person, DUI and public drunkenness. The VA is investigating and says for the time being Pieri cannot participate in direct patient care. The patient in surgery is reportedly fine and the procedure went without incident.
Maybe hospital log-in computers should come with built-in breathalyzers.