An Italian nurse murdered 13 patients, according to authorities in Piombino. During a Thursday press conference, officials confirmed Fausta Bonino, 44, was arrested and charged in the deaths of at least 13 people, who were patients at a state-run hospital in Tuscany between 2014 and 2015. Authorities said the nurse administered unusually high doses of an anticoagulant drug — which caused uncontrollable internal bleeding.
The Hindustan Times reports the Italian nurse murdered the patients with Eparina, which is traditionally prescribed as a blood thinner. However, Fausta Bonino administered 10 times the usual dosage in an apparent attempt to end the patients’ lives.
Although the patients were all confined to the intensive care unit, authorities said they were “all seriously but [not] terminally ill.” The 13 victims, who were between the ages of 61 and 88, died as a direct result of internal bleeding caused by unusually high doses of Eparina.
Authorities were alerted to the situation when the state-run hospital reported an unusually high number of deaths.
On average, the Tuscany hospital’s death rate is around 12 percent. Between 2014 and 2015, the rate spiked to 20 percent. Upon further investigation, officials discovered a surprising number of the deaths were attributed to internal bleeding.
Although internal bleeding is a risk with any blood thinner, officials noted the doses were exceptionally high. The investigators said some of the patients were prescribed blood thinners for preexisting conditions. However, several others were not.
Nurse arrested over deaths of 13 patients in Tuscany: Fausta Bonino accused of giving lethal doses of blood-th… https://t.co/7SI0afGpGB
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As reported by the Express Tribune, authorities believe the Italian nurse murdered the patients, as she was the “only staff member involved in every case.”
Fausta Bonino was arrested on Wednesday and is currently being held pending formal charged. Prosecutors said they will seek charges of homicide with cruelty in the deaths of all 13 patients.
It is unclear what motivated the Italian nurse to murder 13 patients. However, authorities noted Bonino was previously treated for depression. According to reports, she is the married mother of two adult children.
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Unfortunately, Fausta Bonino is not the first Italian nurse to murder her patients. Dubbed the “Angel of Death,” Daniele Poggiali is suspected in the deaths of between 30 and 90 patients.
Daily Mail reports the patients were given potassium chloride, which is a common ingredient in lethal injections, via IV. Poggiali became a suspect when her colleagues reported the nurse was taking “selfies” with the corpses of the dead patients.
According to reports, the Italian nurse said she murdered her patients because they were “annoying.”
In March, Poggiali was convicted in the death of only one of the patients she was suspected of killing. However, she was sentenced to life in prison.
Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said the cases involving Italian nurses who murdered their patients underlines the need for “careful monitoring” in healthcare facilities.
“Sadly this is not the first time that serial killings have been uncovered with a killer nurse as the protagonist… This latest episode shows once again the necessity of careful monitoring of the oldest and most fragile people when they trust their lives to health institutions… We have to defend life with all our powers at every stage, including the terminal one. The defence of life is a fundamental value.”
Fausta Bonino will remain in police custody until prosecutors prepare formal charges. It is unclear when the charges will be filed. However, unlike courts in the United States, Italian courts are not bound by strict time constraints.
Authorities are convinced the Italian nurse murdered 13 patients, and they are committed to making sure she is prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
[Image via Dm_Cherry/Shutterstock]