Nurse accused of being drunk while helping with surgery

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, PA (WCMH)– The man is accused of being drunk while assisting with an emergency surgery at a VA Medical Center.

According to WNEP, Richard Pieri was the on-call nurse for the VA Medical Center near Wilkes-Barrie, Pennsylvania, and police said he admitted to drinking at a casino when he was called into work.

According to police, video shows Pieri stumbling through the parking lot before helping with an emergency appendectomy.

It was Pieri’s responsibility to prepare the patient, as well as the material in the operating room, and was in charge of monitoring the patient’s vital signs during the surgery.

“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,” VA Medical Center executive assistant to director William Klaips told WNEP.

A coworker reported Pieri, and he told Veterans Affairs police that he had four or five beers at a nearby casino, before being called in to work.

He has been removed from any direct patient care while a criminal case investigation continues, according to a VA spokesperson and they believe the patient was not impacted by the situation.

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