A midwife in Munich has been arrested by police on suspicion of attempting to murder four pregnant women while they were undergoing Caesarean section.
The 33-year old midwife, who has not been named, is being held on four counts of murder, according to the Munich public prosecutor.
Her arrest on Friday follows an investigation by the hospital into an unexplained series of incidents between April and June this year in which mothers suffered life-threatening blood loss during Caesarean delivery.
Tests showed that high doses of the anticoagulant drug Heparin had been administered without medical reason, which prevented the ability of the patients’ blood to clot during the operation.
According to the German newspaper Bild, normally the blood-thinning drug Heparin is administered against thrombosis. Doses of this drug given to the pregnant women led to “an acutely life-threatening blood loss, which could only be stopped due to immediate emergency response. There was danger of death for mothers and new-borns.”
“We felt as though in a thriller, as in a bad movie,” said hospital director Dr. Klaus Friese.
The internal hospital investigation found that the 33-year-old suspect was the only staff midwife present at all four caesareans carried out in the Klinikum Großhadern.
According to police, the midwife has worked in the clinic, which delivers 1,800 babies a year, since 2012. She has no children, is unmarried and has no criminal record. Her motive is still unknown, according to police.
When she was arrested, police said her response was very composed and calm. Markus Kraus, head of the Munich homicide, said: “Later however she denied the allegations clearly.”
Prosecutor Peter Preuß told Bild a mistake can be ruled out: “It is standard knowledge of midwives that you cannot use Heparin in Caesarean births.” The accused remains in custody.