Updated 16 October 2014

Nurse may have killed 38 'annoying' patients

An Italian nurse has been arrested after it was discovered that she may have killed dozen of patients because she found them annoying.

Daniela Poggiali was arrested over the weekend following the death of a patient in her care under suspicious circumstances. Following the arrest and subsequent questioning, police revealed that they are now concerned that the nurses murderous instincts may have caused the deaths of as many as 38 patients at the hospital she worked at, said the Daily Mail.

The patient, Rosa Calderoni, was admitted for a routine treatment but later died in the hospital. She was found to have abnormally high levels of potassium chloride in her system. Potassium chloride is used in low doses to correct electrolyte imbalances, but in high doses it causes the heart to stop beating, hence it's used in lethal injection procedures in the US.

It is believed that Poggiali, 42, would inject patients she found irritating with a lethal dose of potassium chloride. Patients who had irritating family members could also suffer the same fate.

Read: Nurse arrested for stealing penises

Her fellow nurses have come out in condemnation of her, with one accusing her of joking about giving a large amount of potassium chloride to a seriously ill patient. Another described her as "cold, but always eager to work" according to local news

A further colleague reported that on at least one occasion she gave strong laxatives to patients at the end of her shift in order to embarrass her colleagues on the next shift.

It seems, however, that the case against Poggiali is far from watertight. Prosecutors have said that potassium chloride vanishes from the bloodstream in just a few days. They said that "investigations are continuing, but there are insurmountable difficulties." At least 10 of the 38 deaths in question were "deeply suspicious".

Police seized the suspects smartphone and found that she had a photo of herself posing with the corpse of a dead patient. In the picture she was smiling and had her thumbs up, reported the Independent

If convicted of just a proportion of these murders, Poggiali will spend most, if not all, of the rest of her life behind bars. The Independent went on to report that the suspect seemed unconcerned about being arrested.

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