Nurse sentenced to prison for stealing opioids from Aurora hospital

AURORA – A nurse will spend two years in prison after stealing opioids from the acute dialysis department of the University of Colorado Hospital. 

According to a news release from United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn, Kayce Unruh was sentenced to 24 months in prison for stealing opioids and tampering with a consumer product. She will also serve three years of supervised release.

From May-July, 2016, Unruh was addicted to fentanyl and/or hydromorphone, and while working as a nurse in the acute dialysis department of the University of Colorado Hospital, she stole opioids from machines and used a needle and syringe to inject herself in the bathroom. The then re-filled the opioid vials with saline solution.

“This defendant took potent pain medicine that was intended for patients and used it to satisfy her addiction,” said Dunn, in the release.  “Whatever else may happen in addressing the opioid crisis, we must ensure that patients in hospitals receive the appropriate medication they need to recover.”

Unruh was placed on investigative leave in July 2016 and her license to be a professional nurse in Colorado was suspended that same month.

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