Nurse Killed Her Hospital Patients with Drug Heparin: Italy Cops

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 5:53 PM

The "hospital ward killer", as police called her, administered lethal doses of a blood-thinning drug into her victims' intravenous drips.

Nurse Killed Her Hospital Patients with Drug Heparin: Italy Cops

A 55-year-old Italian nurse was arrested on suspicion of murdering thirteen elderly patients in the intensive care ward where she'd worked for decades, police said Thursday.

The "hospital ward killer", as police called her, administered lethal doses of a blood-thinning drug into her victims' intravenous drips. Twelve died of internal bleeding and one of cardiac arrest, police said.

They didn't identify the suspect, who worked at a hospital in Piombino, a city on the Tuscan coast. The alleged murders all took space in two thousand-fourteenth and two thousand fifteen, although she'd worked there for many years prior to that.

Some of the victims, men and women aged between sixty-one and eighty-eight, were found to have ten times the normal dose of the drug Heparin in their bloodstream even though they'd not been prescribed it.

The suspect was the only member of hospital staff working when all thirteen of the suspicious deaths occurred, Carabinieri police commander Gennero Riccardi told reporters.

When she became a suspect and was transferred out of intensive care in Oct of latest year, the mortality rate of the ward fell from twenty % to twelve percent, he said.

Riccardi said the suspect "suffers from depression" and had been receiving "psychological treatment for many years".

Police detained the woman late Wednesday when she returned from a holiday with her husband. The families of the victims haven't yet been informed that their relatives may have been murdered, police said.

Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin called the case "chilling, hideous," in a statement in which she said: "It isn't the first time that nurses have been found to be serial killers."

Earlier this month, a nurse in the city of Ravenna was given a life sentence for murdering a patient with a lethal injection of potassium. She's below investigation for some ten more suspicious deaths and is appealing her conviction.

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