Nurse May Have Killed Dozens With Poisoned Drips

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

Kuboki told police that she hastened the patients' deaths so that they died on another nurse's shift and she didn't have to break the news to their families, newspaper Asahi Shimbun reports.

The 31-year-old, who worked at Oguchi Hospital in Yokohama, was busted Saturday on suspicion of murdering 88-year-old Sozo Nishikawa in September 2016.

A former nurse has admitted tampering with intravenous drips in a mass poisoning case that police believe led to the deaths of dozens of patients at a hospital in Japan two years ago.

She's also being investigated for the death of Nobuo Yamaki, 88, two days later.

She'd timed it so her victims died when she wasn't at work - because she dreaded having to deal with grieving family members.

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

"It would be troublesome if that responsibility [notifying the families of patients' deaths] fell to me", she reportedly told police after her arrest. They declined to confirm the broader investigation.

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Security cameras caught a former nurse, under arrest on suspicion of fatally poisoning a patient at a hospital here, walking inside the institution while carrying unnecessary drugs during a night shift after the incident, investigative sources said.

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.

"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 police investigators checked all uniforms worn by nurses in charge of the patients on the fourth floor, they found the antiseptic on only one uniform - that worn by Kuboki - around the pocket. At least 48 patients died at the hospital in suspicious circumstances over a three-month period in 2016, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.

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

Kuboki earned her nursing license in 2008 and worked at another hospital before coming to Oguchi in May 2015.

After her arrest, Kuboki allegedly confessed to killing up to 20 patients, but claimed she targeted only the very sick.

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