Jacksonville nurse pleads guilty to tampering with ICU patient’s fentanyl

File photo (WKMG)

ST. JOHNS, Fla. – A registered nurse has pleaded guilty to tampering with a consumer product, specifically injectable fentanyl, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Citing the plea agreement, the DOJ said that on Jan. 30, 2020, Jerome Clampitt, a registered nurse, was working a night shift in the intensive care unit of a Jacksonville hospital. It said a patient under Clampitt’s care was prescribed and receiving a fentanyl drip along with other medications for anesthesia.

According to the DOJ, two employees saw Clampitt, 42, use a syringe to inject a substance that dispensed fentanyl into the patient “when there was no medically valid reason for Clampitt to do so.” The news release said laboratory testing determined that the patient’s dose of fentanyl had been diluted with saline.

The DOJ said an audit of hospital records showed multiple discrepancies in Clampitt’s handling of controlled substances. Investigators learned that in 2019, a separate hospital had employed Clampitt and discovered discrepancies in its records. It fired Clampitt after he refused to submit to a drug test.

As part of his guilty plea, the news release said, Clampitt admitted that he knew his activities resulted in one or more critically ill patients receiving diluted fentanyl.

The DOJ said Clampitt faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.