Italian nurse suspected of killing 13 patients
Killer on the ward
Police in Italy have reported that a 55-year-old registered nurse has been arrested on suspicion of murdering 13 patients, in a case described as ‘the killer on the ward’.
In 2014 and 2015, the nurse administered lethal doses of a blood-thinning drug into her victims' intravenous drips.
Police said that 12 died of internal bleeding and one of cardiac arrest.
The victims were elderly people aged between 61 and 88.
The suspect was monitored by police for several months.
According to Ansa news agency, the woman in custody has lived in Tuscany since the 1980s.
Italy's NAS police unit - which specialises in health and drugs - detained her late on Wednesday.
Italians have already been shocked by the case of another nurse, who was jailed indefinitely earlier this month.
Daniele Poggiali, 44, was found guilty of injecting a 78-year-old patient with a lethal solution of potassium chloride at a hospital in Ravenna in north-eastern Italy.
She is also suspected of killing other patients. Pictures have emerged of her smiling beside the bodies of dead patients.
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.”
In January 2000, Harold Shipman - a British GP – was found guilty of murdering 15 of his patients but an inquiry after his conviction confirmed he was responsible for at least 218. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and the judge recommended that he never be released.