German police said on Wednesday they had arrested a nurse for allegedly trying to overdose at least three patients in his care.
Police and prosecutors told reporters that the 24-year-old suspect tried to play the savior by bringing patients to the brink of death before resuscitating them.
The case was reminiscent of Niels Hoegel, a German nurse who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 85 patients last year.
Authorities received a tip on Sunday from a doctor at the Munich hospital where the suspect had worked since July and said they are now investigating any potentially suspicious cases on his watch.
The nurse, who has not been identified by police, was arrested Monday on three charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault – allegations he denies.
Prosecutor Anne Leiding told reporters his online chats revealed that he “put the lives of patients at risk only to be later seen as a brilliant savior”.
The nurse worked on a ward for patients who recently emerged from the intensive care unit and are still under strict medical observation.
In two of the cases in question, the condition of a 91-year-old male patient and a 54-year-old woman who were being treated suddenly deteriorated on Saturday.
They could only be resuscitated with immediate measures, said Josef Wimmer, head of the Munich police murder department, at a press conference.
A doctor became suspicious and ordered blood tests that found high levels of an unspecified drug that had not been prescribed for them.
The same doctor then identified another dubious case, a 90-year-old patient from late last month, and a blood test showed similar results, Wimmer said.
All three victims had been in the suspect’s care. One is still in a critical but stable condition while the other two have recovered.
Germany was shocked by the revelations that Hoegel, who is considered the country’s most prolific serial killer, murdered patients with lethal injections between 2000 and 2005 before he was eventually caught in the act.
In October, a Polish health care worker was sentenced to life imprisonment in Munich for killing at least three people with insulin.
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