Friday, 16 November, 2018

Nurse Allegedly Killed Up To 20 Patients, She Wanted Control Over Deaths

Oguchi Hospital Modal Trigger Oguchi Hospital AP
Patty Aguilar | 12 July, 2018, 06:14

Ayumi Kuboki, 31, has been arrested on suspicion of killing Sozo Nishikawa, 88, at Oguchi Hospital, in the city of Yokohama, south-west of Tokyo, in September 2016.

She has since told investigators that she also poisoned another 88-year-old man, Nobuo Yamaki, who was being treated in the same fourth-floor room as Nishikawa, and may have killed another 20 patients using the same method, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Kuboki told police the attacks were timed for the patients to die when she was not at work so she would not have to deal with heartbroken relatives.

Nishikawa died at the hospital on September 18, 2016, while another patient, Nobuo Yamaki, also 88, passed away two days later. "It was troublesome and hard having to explain to their family members".

Several days after security cameras were installed at the hospital following the deaths of Nishikawa and Yamaki, the cameras caught Kuboki walking in the hospital while carrying a box containing insulin, a drug used to decrease blood glucose levels of patients with diabetes.

The suspect has told police she mixed disinfectant into the intravenous drips of around 20 patients, Jiji Press reported, citing an unnamed police source.

Police ruled that his death, along with Nishikawa's, were due to poisoning. She added that she had not noticed anything unusual during her shifts at the hospital. A nurse from the day shift broke the sad news to his family.

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Subsequent investigations also found the cleaning agent in the bodies of an 89-year-old man and a woman aged 78 who had died around the same time.

Former colleagues told Asahi Shimbun they had no idea Kuboki could have been behind the string of deaths. They declined to confirm the broader investigation.

"She was the kind of person who was hard to figure out what she was really thinking, but she was considered competent", a worker said.

When they examined all of the nurses' uniforms, they found the chemicals around a pocket on Kuboki's uniform.

A Japanese nurse was accused of tampering with intravenous drip bags at the hospital she worked at.

About 48 patients at the hospital died in unusual circumstances over a three-month period in 2016, including five in a single day. She began working at Oguchi Hospital in May 2015 after working in another hospital.

Police questioned Kuboki in late June after she quit the hospital.

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