Japanese authorities arrested a former nurse to answer for allegations linking her to the deaths of 20 patients back in 2016.
Ayumi Kuboki, who used to work at Oguchi Hospital in Yokohama, Japan is accused of poisoning elderly patients by injecting their intravenous drips with an antiseptic solution so their deaths wouldn’t happen during her shift.
The 31-year-old admitted to the police that she sped up the patients’ deaths so that they died on another nurse’s shift, according to the Asahi Shimbun. She said she didn’t want to be the one to break the news of the deaths to their families as such responsibility is expected from the nurses at Oguchi Hospital.
“It would be troublesome if that responsibility fell on me,” Kuboki allegedly said upon questioning by the police in late June, weeks after she quit her job at the hospital.
An investigation began after another nurse noticed bubbles inside the IV drip bag of an 88-year-old patient named Nobuo Yamaki following his death in September 2016. Bubbles inside an IV bag may indicate that it has been tampered with.
When doctors checked Yamaki’s bloodstream, they found a high concentration of the antiseptic solution. The same antiseptic was later found in the body of another 88-year-old patient named Sozo Nishikawa after an autopsy was conducted. The man had shared a room with Yamaki before his death.
During the investigation at the hospital, police discovered the antiseptic in the bodies of two other unnamed patients, an 89-year-old man, and a 78-year-old woman.
Authorities also found 10 unused IV drip bags already tainted with the antiseptic solution at the nurses’ station. Tiny puncture holes were reportedly visible in the bags’ seals, which indicated tampering.
Upon checking all the uniforms worn by nurses in charge of the patients on the floor where the poisoning happened, investigators found antiseptic only in the pocket of the uniform worn by Kuboki.
Kuboki reportedly confessed to killing up to 20 patients after her arrest while claiming that she only targeted those who were very sick.
However, the police expressed doubt over her claims since some of the patients she poisoned were not terminally ill.
Kuboki, who was known as a “quiet but competent employee,” became a nurse in 2008 and started working at Oguchi Hospital in 2015.
In 2016, bizarre incidents reportedly started occurring on the fourth floor where she worked. Nurses reported some of their uniforms were torn and drinks were sometimes spiked with a foreign substance.
The disturbing incidents ceased around August 2016 just before the first deaths started happening.
Images via YouTube / Trà Giảm Cân An Toàn