Nurse accused of tampering with drips at hospital, killing dozens of people

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

A Japanese nurse admitted to killing at least 20 elderly patients and said she planned their deaths to occur when she was off-shift - because she didn't want to be bothered explaining their demise to relatives during working hours.

Since her arrest, Ms Kuboki has admitted to police that she killed the two men as well as "about 20 other patients", the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.

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.

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

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

The chemical, an antibacterial that's readily available within hospitals, was found in Yamaki's body and his IV bag. At first, Kuboki denied all involvement, even expressing her sympathy for the families of the deceased and saying she noticed nothing suspicious around the hospital. A nurse from the day shift broke the sad news to his family.

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Former colleagues told Asahi Shimbun they had no idea Kuboki could have been behind the string of deaths.

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". They declined to confirm the broader investigation.

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. Some of the patients who passed away within the three-month time frame did not have serious conditions, sources close to the investigation told the Asahi Shimbun. Police zeroed in on Kuboki after analyzing hospital worker uniforms, finding that only hers carried traces of the chemical.

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

Japanese media quoted her as telling police after her arrest that she had administered the disinfectant to "about 20" other patients, adding that she only targeted those who were gravely ill.

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