Utah CNA stole patients’ meds, replaced them with other pills, charges say

Oct 13, 2022, 1:01 PM | Updated: Nov 19, 2022, 12:10 am

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A St. George woman working at an assisted living facility was charged Wednesday with pocketing medications intended for elderly residents and replacing them with other medications not prescribed to that person.

Taylor Janae Salisbury, 23, is charged in 5th District Court with two counts of reckless aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, a third-degree felony; three counts of possession of prescription drug for an unlawful purpose and two counts of drug possession, class A misdemeanors; and two counts of theft, a class B misdemeanor.

Police say Salisbury was a certified nursing assistant at the Retreat at Sunbook. On Tuesday, the facility’s manager called police to report a possible prescription theft after a blister pack containing personal prescriptions for two elderly patients was found to have an abnormality, according to a police booking affidavit.

“He and other staff members started looking into what they suspected to be theft of two separate prescriptions of hydrocodone and morphine pills. (The manager) stated they noticed the medications had been replaced with pills that resembled the actual pills, one of which was blood pressure medication,” according to the affidavit.

The manager noted that the patients who were not receiving their proper medication complained of pain and being lethargic.

“He stated one particular patient did not respond well to having been given blood pressure medication, as it was not prescribed and ultimately could have had a serious adverse reaction if gone unnoticed,” the arrest report states.

It was soon discovered, using surveillance video, that Salisbury was taking blister packs of medication and “concealing them in the front of her scrubs and under her shirt, using a log book to conceal her act,” according to the affidavit.

Police believe she would then make a small incision to the packs, take out the pill that was in it, replace it with a different pill, and then use a piece of clear tape seal the pack again.

“It appears one or more other patients have been affected by this prescription diversion issue, as they would not have gotten the medications they were prescribed,” the affidavit alleges.

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Utah CNA stole patients’ meds, replaced them with other pills, charges say