Nurse accused of killing 38 patients by injecting fatal dose of potassium
ITALY: Police in Italy are investigating whether a
nurse could have killed up to 38 people who have died in hospital in suspicious
The nurse, Daniela Poggiali, is accused of injecting
one patient with a fatal dose of potassium after the 78-year-old patient, who
was admitted to hospital with a routine illness, died unexpectedly.
She is also suspected of giving her patients high
doses of potassium because she found them or their families annoying, according
to local news reports in Italy.
The police inquiry is being expanded to investigate 38
deaths, including ten which police have described as “very suspicious”
according to local media reports of a police press conference.
The Italian newspaper Libero Quotidiano has reported
that a staff member at the hospital claimed that Poggiali, 42, had asked to
have her photo taken next to a patient who had just died. Another staff member
reportedly said the nurse had joked about giving a high dose of potassium to a
very ill patient.
The Corriere di Bologna newspaper has reported that a
phone taken by the police contains a photo she took with giving a thumbs up
next to a patient that had died. Potassium chloride can trigger cardiac arrest
and is used in the US for administering the death penalty.
Police reportedly said the case was difficult because
potassium fades from the blood very quickly.