Nurse stole fentanyl from surgery center for her addiction: feds


A 52-year-old surgical center nurse has been ordered to give up her nursing license.

An Iowa registered nurse who worked at an outpatient surgery center will lose her license after she pleaded guilty to stealing fentanyl meant for patients, federal officials say.

Sabrina Thalblum, 52, worked at a Cedar Rapids outpatient surgery center between 2017 and 2019, where she tampered with fentanyl vials to steal the highly addictive drug for her own use, prosecutors said in a Jan. 24 news release.

The defendant’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.

She pleaded guilty in July 2021 to one count of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge, and one count of adulteration and misbranding with intent to defraud and mislead.

Thalblum admitted to being addicted to fentanyl from 2018 to 2019, the release said.

According to an indictment, Thalblum used fine-gauge needles to draw the drug out of its vials, refilled the vials with a different clear substance, and glued on the damaged caps to make the vials appear untouched.

The Cedar Rapids resident was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to forfeit her nursing license. She also was fined $10,000, the release said.

Mariah Rush is a National Real-Time Reporter. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has previously worked for The Chicago Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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