On-call nurse Richard Pieri got a call about an emergency appendectomy a little after midnight, and he stumbled into the parking lot of the VA Medical Center to help with the surgery.
Pieri has admitted that he was at the casino drinking before he got the call, and police say that there is footage of him stumbling through the parking lot before making his way inside to assist with the surgery. His fellow coworkers noticed that he wasn’t himself and that he had trouble logging into the system as well as recording the time of the surgery.
One of the coworkers anonymously reported him, and he has now been charged with recklessly endangering another person, DUI, and public drunkenness.
“Patient safety is paramount. 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,” said VA Medical Center executive assistant to director William Klaips.
Pieri said that he knew it was wrong to come drunk to work but that he forgot that he was on-call at the time. While the situation is being investigated, he has been removed from direct patient care.