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Allegedly Drunk Nurse Assists in Emergency Surgery at VA Hospital

Plains Township, PA (WNEP) --A Pennsylvania nurse is accused of being drunk while asssiting  charged assisting on an emergency surgery at the VA Medical Center near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, according to WNEP.

The male nurse admits he was at a casino drinking when he was called into work.

It was a little before midnight on February 4 when on-call nurse Richard Pieri got called to the VA Medical Center near Wilkes-Barre for an emergency surgery.

Police say there's video of him stumbling through the parking lot before he headed inside and helped with an emergency appendectomy.

Court papers say Pieri wasn't acting himself that night, had trouble logging into a basic computer system, didn't log the time of the operation correctly, and showed other signs, too.

A coworker anonymously reported him.

Veterans Affairs police interviewed Pieri. According to court papers, he told them he had four or five beers while playing slots at the nearby Mohegan Sun Casino. He had just gotten home when he got paged to come in.

He was responsible for preparing the patient, preparing the material in the operating room, and monitoring that patient's vital signs during surgery.

Pieri is charged with recklessly endangering another person, DUI, and public drunkenness.

He told police he knew it was wrong to come to work drunk, but forgot he was on call.

A VA spokesperson says he has been removed from any direct patient care while this criminal case and investigation continue.

The VA believes the situation had no impact on the patient.

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