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20th of July 2018

International



Nurse 'poisoned 20 terminally ill patients so they wouldn't die on her shift'

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A nurse in Japan has been arrested on suspicion of poisoning up to 20 patients so they would die on another nurse’s shift.

Ayumi Kuboki, 31, allegedly poisoned the elderly patients by injecting disinfectant into their IV drips at the former Oguchi Hospital, near Tokyo, in 2016.

The 31-year-old told police that she wanted to avoid going through the trouble of explaining the deaths to their families, according to newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

Nurse 'poisoned 20 terminally ill patients so they wouldn't die on her shift' Ayumi Kuboki, 31, allegedly poisoned the elderly patients by injecting disinfectant into their IV drips at the former Oguchi Hospital, near Tokyo (Picture: Kyodo News)

Nurses at Oguchi Hospital are expected to break the news to families if patients die while they are on duty.

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The case came to light in September 2016, when another nurse spotted bubbles inside the IV drip bag of 88-year-old Nobuo Yamaki after he died.

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Doctors found a high concentration of antiseptic solution in Yamaki’s bloodstream and determined that he had died from poisoning.

Officers then found there was another victim, Sozo Nishikawa, who died two days earlier and had shared a room with Yamaki.

Police investigators head to the house of suspect Ayumi Kuboki in Yokohama. Japanese authorities raided Thursday, July 12, 2018, the apartment of the nurse who was arrested on suspicion of poisoning to death at least two elderly patients at a terminal care hospital.(Yuya Shino/Kyodo News via AP) Police investigators head to the house of Kuboki in Yokohama (Picture: Kyodo News)

Police got hold of his body just before cremation and conducted an autopsy, which showed he had been poisoned with the same disinfectant.

Antiseptic was then discovered in the bodies of two further patients, an 89-year-old man and a 78-year-old woman who have not been named.

Investigators also reportedly found tiny puncture marks in 10 of about 50 unused intravenous bags stored at the nursing station on the fourth floor, which handles the terminally ill.

When police checked all uniforms worn by nurses in charge of the patients on the fourth floor, they only found the antiseptic on Kuboki’s uniform.

This July 7, 2018 photo shows the hospital where suspect Ayumi Kuboki worked in Yokohama. Japanese authorities raided Thursday, July 12, 2018, the apartment of the nurse who was arrested on suspicion of poisoning to death at least two elderly patients at the terminal care hospital. (Kyodo News via AP) The hospital where suspect Ayumi Kuboki worked in Yokohama (Picture: Kyodo News)

After Kuboki’s arrest, she allegedly confessed to killing up to 20 patients but said she only targeted the very sick.

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However, police have questioned her claims after it was found some of the patients who died were not terminally ill.

Kuboki began working at Oguchi Hospital in 2015 but quit the hospital before she was questioned over the deaths in June.

She was then arrested on July 7 and has not yet entered a plea.

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