Nurse arrested over patient deaths 'put cleanser in drips'

Blanche Robertson
July 11, 2018

The suspect reportedly said she wanted to control when her patients died.

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.

A nurse in Japan has been arrested on suspicion of poisoning up to 20 patients so they wouldn't die on her shift.

Kuboki allegedly killed the 88-year-old man by injecting a disinfectant into his drip, it was reported.

Kuboki reportedly confessed to murdering at least 20 other patients out of the 48 that passed away between July and September 2016.

Kuboki reportedly denied any specific grudge against her patients, but said she found it hard to deal with deaths on her shift, and injecting the drips allowed her to control when her patients died.

Police believe she deliberately contaminated the patients' intravenous drips with a disinfectant containing benzalkonium chloride, killing the first two victims in a matter of hours.

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A 31-year-old nurse suspected of having a hand in the death of 48 patients at Oguchi Hospital in Yokohama in the summer of 2016, has reportedly confessed to murdering the ill patients that were already on the verge of death.

The chemical, an antibacterial that's readily available within hospitals, was found in Yamaki's body and his IV bag. She added that she had not noticed anything unusual during her shifts at the hospital.

The same chemical has been found in the bodies of two other patients who died aged 78 and 89, the news agency said. "We had had no inkling that she was a problem employee", a member of staff told the Asahi.

A series of disturbing incidents were then reported on the fourth floor where she worked in 2016, where nurses' uniforms were ripped and drinks were spiked with a foreign substance. They declined to confirm the broader investigation.

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

Police questioned Kuboki in late June after she quit the hospital. She admitted to killing her patients on the second day of questioning. "I did that to about 20 patients". She began working at Oguchi Hospital in May 2015 after working in another hospital.

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