A former nurse in Japan reportedly confessed killing more than a dozen patients to avoid the process of dealing with their family members while she was at work.
31-year-old Ayumi Kuboki was taken into custody on suspicion of murdering Sozo Nishikawa, 88, who was poisoned at Oguchi Hospital in the country’s Kanagawa Prefecture, two years ago.
After the arrest, the former nurse told police she wanted to avoid telling the patient’s loved ones about their death, she thought that dealing with the relatives was a burden.
In order to avoid her responsibility and speed up their deaths, Kuboki said she targeted patients who were about to die and timed their demise in a way that they died when she was off-duty.
However, she also admitted of killing many patients who were nowhere near their deaths. Kuboki also confessed murdering another patient, 88-year-old Nobuo Yamaki, at the same hospital.
“I hated seeing the rapid deterioration in their condition,” Kuboki was quoted by TBS News as telling investigators. “I did not want them to die during my shift. It was troublesome and difficult having to explain to their family members.”
The former nurse reportedly murdered the patients by injecting the patients’ intravenous (IV) drip bag with disinfectants. She used the same method to kill nearly 20 patients.
The brutal practice didn’t come into light until another nurse who worked in the same yard found unusual bubbles in Nishikawa’s drip bag. Although the patient died after a few days, police began investigating his death.
An autopsy was conducted and after an investigation it was discovered that the patient was injected with a disinfectant, benzalkonium chloride, and Kuboki was then arrested on suspicion after nearly two years.
The disinfectant that Kuboki pumped into the IV bags of the patients was the same which was used to clean the nurses’ station at the hospital.
A series of unusual deaths took place in 2016 when about forty-eight patients died under mysterious circumstances. However, the cause of deaths of the rest of the patients cannot be determined as their bodies have been cremated.
Kuboki’s colleagues were shocked at the revelation.
“We had had no inkling that she was a problem employee,” said a staff member at the hospital.
Another colleague said, “She was the kind of person who was hard to figure out … but she was considered competent.”
Loved ones of the poisoned patients were naturally shocked to learn of the killings.
"There was every chance that my husband might have died because he was sick. But the fact that he was murdered only means that it was my own poor judgment in choosing the hospital,” said Nishikawa’s wife.
Meanwhile Yamaki's eldest son said, “I want to know why a person, who found herself fit to work as a nurse, could commit such a crime.”
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Eric Gaillard