Police: TX nurse steals patient’s morphine, gives cranberry juice

Sadye Matula

“Those syringes of cranberry juice had been dispersed to… a hospice client who is more than 65. He is unable to discuss and is prescribed Morphine to continue to keep him snug.” CLIFTON, Texas — A 43-yr-previous Whitney girl was arrested for reportedly thieving morphine from a hospice client and […]

“Those syringes of cranberry juice had been dispersed to… a hospice client who is more than 65. He is unable to discuss and is prescribed Morphine to continue to keep him snug.”

CLIFTON, Texas — A 43-yr-previous Whitney girl was arrested for reportedly thieving morphine from a hospice client and replacing it with cranberry juice, in accordance to an arrest affidavit attained by 6 News.

In accordance to the affidavit, on March 13, the Whitney Police Office was initial termed out to dwelling due to the fact Ashley Kay Bidwell experienced overdosed on morphine. Whitney PD then employed Narcan on Bidwell to reverse the consequences.

Bidwell advised police she bought the morphine from her occupation as a registered nurse at Clifton Lutheran Sunset Ministries (CLSM), in accordance to the affidavit. Whitney Law enforcement then contacted the Clifton Law enforcement Department the following working day for aid in the investigation.

On March 29, the facility’s administrator, Lance Allen, identified as Clifton PD following he acquired a previous staff stole morphine from a affected individual and changed it with cranberry juice, according to the affidavit. Allen recognized that previous employee as Bidwell, who was fired from her position after they uncovered of what she did, the affidavit states.

A person witness explained to police that she was very good close friends with Bidwell when she was functioning at the facility. She explained throughout lunch, Bidwell confessed to her that she was fired from a preceding task mainly because she stole medicine from a individual, in accordance to the affidavit. Bidwell reportedly advised the witness she had carried out the identical issue whilst doing work for CLSM.

The witness continued to convey to law enforcement that on March 11, Bidwell intercepted a morphine prescription supposed for a affected person at the residence, the affidavit states. She did so by providing to acquire the morphine to another wing, the affidavit continues.

“Bidwell is an RN (registered nurse), so this was not unconventional according to nursing house staff members,” the affidavit states.

The witness stated Bidwell informed her as an alternative of getting the medication to the correct wing, she took them into her office environment and still left them there though she went to the cafeteria and got cranberry juice, the affidavit proceeds.

Bidwell then took the cranberry juice to her workplace, emptied out the morphine from the syringes and changed them with cranberry juice, according to the affidavit. She then took the cranberry juice-filled syringes to the nurses’ station.

“It was later on found that all those syringes of cranberry juice were dispersed to a patient… a hospice patient who is above 65 many years of age. He is not able to discuss and is approved Morphine to preserve him comfortable for the duration of his time on hospice,” the affidavit states.

Unknowingly, the nurses gave him 4 syringes of cranberry juice in 4 hours, for every the affidavit. In response, “Bidwell laughed the circumstance off stating that it would only be a couple doses and that they would be capable to get him some far more. As if to say, he would not be in pain lengthy,” the affidavit reads.

Police then spoke to the assistant director of nursing who helped treatment for the hospice individual. She instructed police that the client was in a whole lot of suffering through this time and could not get it beneath command, irrespective of providing what she considered was his approved morphine, the affidavit states.

The assistant director told police that primarily based on her experienced opinion, the patient would have been in large ache by not obtaining the morphine.

A social employee also advised police that on the working day of the incident, she was surprised to obtain Bidwell at the facility late (close to 5:30 p.m.), according to the affidavit. She spelled out that Bidwell works in wound care, which wouldn’t involve her to remain late. She also explained to law enforcement that she saw Bidwell carrying a “clear pitcher of cranberry juice” when she ran into her in the cafeteria.

Immediately after talking with witnesses, Allen handed law enforcement 20 syringes with a mild maroon-coloured material. Staff informed police that the morphine will come from Albrecht’s Pharmacy “with a purple or maroon colored dye,” in accordance to the affidavit.

All of the syringes were eradicated and changed with actual morphine, Allen instructed police.

Bidwell was arrested and booked in the Bosque County jail wherever her bond was originally established at $70,000 but afterwards raised to $150,000. Bidwell faces costs of diversion of a managed substance by registrants, which implies she stole medicine from a individual, Clifton Law enforcement Chief Chris Blanton clarified.

“This particular person applied their placement with CLSM to consider medicine away from an elderly individual when he was in dire have to have of it, for their individual habit,” Blanton claimed in a information release. “I want to anxiety that the CLSM took very swift action and was 100% cooperative with our investigation, which is why we ended up ready to make this kind of a rapid arrest.”

6 News sat down with Blanton Thursday to question thoughts about the investigation and to clarify components in the affidavit. He estimates this could have absent on for two months as the affected individual experienced in discomfort.

“It can be kind of a shock to the entire group simply because all over again, this facility has been below for decades and decades and years, way ahead of I was at any time here,” he claimed. “She was in a place wherever she was in a position to handle prescription drugs with the trust from her employer that she was going to not overlook take care of that information and facts and that treatment and she betrayed that belief to a quite extreme place.”

6 Information also talked with the President and CEO of Clifton Lutheran Sunset Ministries Rodney Rueter to attempt and come across out how this took place.

He did not response many of our queries but he did say, “So, I’d really like to thank the Clifton Law enforcement and the Whitney Law enforcement for all the work they have finished in this investigation. We carry on to get the job done hand-in-hand with them.

On Thursday, April 7, CLSM introduced a assertion on the incident, declaring staff right away noted it to the law enforcement when it arrived to light-weight. CLSM also mentioned it adhered to good choosing practices.

“I want to emphasize that Lutheran Sunset Ministries adheres to all correct hiring procedures and polices in all of its packages, which consists of reviewing the nurse registry and completing a felony qualifications verify and drug check. Absolutely nothing indicating a possible issue with this staff was observed by the Texas Board of Nursing registry look at, the Texas Department of Public Basic safety prison track record check out or the drug take a look at,” the assertion stated.

“As significantly as we can tell they did their aspect in doing a track record test on this unique for every state legislation. It just so occurs a poor apple manufactured it by means of,” Blanton mentioned. “It is really regrettable that this individual set the stellar name of the CLSM and the basic safety of this affected individual in jeopardy.”

Lutheran Sunset Ministries needs to thank the Clifton and Whitney Law enforcement Departments for their swift reaction and do the job…

Posted by Lutheran Sunset Ministries on Thursday, April 7, 2022

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