A nurse has been arrested in Italy for killing up to 38 patients because she found them or their relatives annoying, police have said. Daniela Poggiali, from the town of Lugo, also allegedly took a ‘selfie’ with a patient who had just died.
The 42-year-old nurse was arrested after the unexpected death of 78-year-old patient Rosa Calderoni who was admitted for a non-life threatening diabetes-related illness.
Italy’s Libero Quotidiano says that a subsequent investigation found that Calderoni had an unusually high level of potassium, which can cause cardiac arrest, in her blood, leading to suggestions that Poggiali had injected her.
Her death triggered an inquiry which soon that 38 people had died unexpectedly while being treated by Poggiali.
Police also found a disturbing photo on Poggiali’s phone showing her posing next to a recently dead patient with her thumbs up. A colleague said that Poggiali asked her to help in taking the picture.
One of her associates said that she was a “cold person but always eager to work,” while another accused her of giving powerful laxatives to patients towards the end of her shift to make life more difficult for the nurse working after her.
Il Resto del Carlino reports that chief Prosecutor Alessandro Mancini told a press conference after her arrest, Poggiali was “unperturbed, icy.”
He added: “Investigations are continuing, but there are insurmountable difficulties.”