Europe

Nurse in Germany 'overdosed patients to play saviour'

BERLIN (AFP) – German police on Wednesday (Nov 11) said they had arrested a nurse for allegedly trying to give overdoses to at least three patients in his care.

Police and prosecutors told reporters that the 24-year-old suspect tried to play the saviour by taking the patients to the brink of death before reviving them.

The case recalled that of Niels Hoegel, a German nurse sentenced to life in prison last year for murdering 85 patients.

The authorities received a tip on Sunday from a doctor at the Munich hospital where the suspect had worked since July, and said they were now investigating all potentially suspicious cases on his watch.

The nurse, who was not identified by police, was arrested on Monday on three counts of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm – allegations he denies.

Prosecutor Anne Leiding told reporters his online chats indicated he said he “endangered the lives of patients just so he could later be seen as the brilliant saviour”.

UNSPECIFIED MEDICATION

The nurse worked at a ward for patients who recently emerged from intensive care and are still under close medical observation.

In two of the cases in question, the condition of a 91-year-old male patient and a 54-year-old woman being treated suddenly worsened last Saturday.

They could be revived only with emergency measures, Mr Josef Wimmer, head of the Munich police murder division, told a news conference.

A doctor became suspicious and ordered blood tests, which found high levels of an unspecified medication they had not been prescribed.

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The same doctor then identified another dubious case, a 90-year-old patient from late last month, and a blood test turned up similar results, Mr Wimmer said.

All three victims had been in the suspect’s care. One is still in a critical but stable condition while the other two have recovered.

Germany was shocked over revelations that Hoegel, believed to be the country’s most prolific serial killer, murdered patients with lethal injections between 2000 and 2005, before he was eventually caught in the act.

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In October, a Polish healthcare worker was sentenced to life in prison in Munich for killing at least three people with insulin.

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