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

Lester Mason
July 11, 2018

A former nurse in Japan may have killed dozens of patients by poisoning their intravenous drips, police have said.

Unable to cope with the emotional burden of having to explain to the relatives why the patient died on her watch, Ayumi Kuboki allegedly killed her victims by administering intravenous drips with a disinfectant containing benzalkonium chloride.

Despite her confession, authorities remain unconvinced that she targeted only the terminally ill people.

An employee who had worked with Kuboki at a different hospital said: "She was the kind of person who was hard to figure out ... but she was considered competent".

Kuboki was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of killing Sozo Nishikawa, 88, who died 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. At least 48 patients died at the hospital in suspicious circumstances over a three-month period in 2016, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.

Police ruled that his death, along with Nishikawa's, were due to poisoning.

Kuboki quit the hospital before she was questioned over the deaths in June, before her arrest on July 7. A nurse from the day shift broke the sad news to his family.

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.

Staffers told Asahi Shimbun there were no red flags.

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.

Kuboki gained a nurse's license in 2008. Police zeroed in on Kuboki after analyzing hospital worker uniforms, finding that only hers carried traces of the chemical.

Kuboki has admitted to killing "at least 20 elderly patients" in her time at Oguchi.

Colleagues who'd been working with Kuboki since 2015, when she started at the hospital, expressed shock when they heard of the alleged murders.

In December a year ago, while the investigation into the mysterious deaths at the hospital was was ongoing, Kuboki told Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, "I've worked hard to help patients die in peace, so I was shocked by the incidents".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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