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Jacksonville nurse imprisoned for swiping patient's fentanyl

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Mark Lennihan
Jerome Clampitt II, a nurse in Jacksonville, has been sentenced to federal prison.

A registered nurse withheld medication from a patient in a Jacksonville hospital in order to use the drug on himself at home, prosecutors say.

Jerome Clampitt II, 42, diluted the patient's intravenous dose of fentanyl with saline in the intensive care ward on Jan. 30, 2020. Two other employees caught him and turned him in.

Clampitt, of St. Johns, pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to tampering with a consumer product. U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan now has sentenced him to six months in federal prison followed by six months of home detention.

The hospital fired Clampitt after less than a month on the job. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office would not identify the hospital, and court documents do not include it.

Clampitt had been fired at another hospital in 2019 after records indicated he might have been diverting drugs for his own use, the prosecutor's office said.

In the most recent case, the patient was treated with fentanyl as a pain medication and anesthesia. Two employees saw Clampitt use a smaller syringe to inject an unknown substance into the fentanyl drip, and a third employee noticed that the patient was still awake, which was unusual, according to Clampitt's plea deal, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

The hospital contacted law enforcement. Clampitt later admitted to investigators that he diverted drugs from patients on two occasions. He stated that he had stolen fentanyl to inject at home to help him sleep after working night shifts, and that he needed help, court documents show.

An audit of hospital records showed other discrepancies involving Clampitt, the records show.

On Jan. 16, 2020, he checked out two bottles of propofol, an anesthetic, but administered only one. He checked out a similar bottle on Jan. 22, 2020, and a dose of fentanyl on Jan 23, 2020, but there were no records indicating he ever administered the drugs.

As a health professional, prosecutors said, Clampitt knew his patients would suffer and experience a higher risk of illness and death.