Former Yale fertility nurse pleads guilty to giving outpatients saline instead of fentanyl

New Haven

ORANGE, Conn. (WTNH) — More than a dozen people say a Yale fertility nurse gave them saline instead of fentanyl for outpatient procedures. It happened at Yale’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility clinic last year.

Donna Monticone, 49, of Oxford pleaded guilty this week to one count of tampering with a consumer product. An attorney for several of these patients tells News 8, Monticone’s negligence has left lasting effects on his clients.

Court documents reveal Monticone – a former nurse at Yale’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Clinic began stealing fentanyl for her own use in June of 2020.

Documents say she “used a syringe to withdraw the narcotics from the vials, and reinjected saline into vials so that it would appear as if none of the narcotics were missing. The investigation revealed that approximately 75 percent of the fentanyl given to patients at the Yale REI clinic from June to October 2020 was adulterated with saline.”

“There’s a lot of feeling of betrayal,” Attorney Josh Koskoff said.

The victims’ attorney says these patients suffered physical pain after receiving a reduced narcotic or no narcotic at all to block their pain after surgery.

Koskoff: “Many of these women whom I’ve spoken to experience excruciating and traumatic pain…Afterwards felt a degree of shame because they were led to believe that there was nothing wrong with the anesthesia or the pain medications which they thought were the proper pain medications that were given and it must be something about them.”

We received a statement from Yale University that reads, in part, “The University reported the nurse’s actions to law enforcement agencies, and the Fertility Center conducted an immediate review of its management of controlled substances. Changes are underway in procedures, recordkeeping, and physical storage that will prevent this type of activity from happening again.”

Monticone was released on a $50,000 bond pending sentencing. She has surrendered her nursing license.

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