Over the course of three years, between 2003 and 2005 a nurse–identified only as “Neils H” due to Germany’s privacy standards–injected over 90 intensive care patients with an overdose of heart medication. He did so because he wanted to resuscitate them and look like a hero to his co-workers. 60 of the injected patients survived.
Neils was initially convicted of attempted murder in 2008, with a 7 1/2 year term in prison. It was only then that police began investigating the many other deaths at the Delmenhorst clinic, and that is when the magnitude of the his crimes were discovered. Neils has been sentenced to life in prison.
Konstantin Karyofilis, a court psychiatrist that saw Neils, testified about their conversations. The UK Telegraph reports:
Niels H had admitted to him that he had deliberately given overdoses to some 90 patients, but claimed that he had been able to save around 60 of them.
Konstantin Karyofilis told the court Niels H had admitted that he wanted to show off his “excellent” resuscitation skills, and so deliberately set up medical emergencies at the Delmenhorst hospital near the northern city of Bremen.
He injected the patients with overdoses of Gilurytmal, a heart medication drug, which can cause life-threatening arrhythmias and dangerously low blood pressure when incorrectly administered.
Niels H deliberately selected patients who already had an “extremely poor prognosis”, Dr Karyofilis told the court.
But he was plagued by guilt and sometimes drank two or three bottles of spirits in a day.
Neils’ attorney, Ulrike Baumann, argued before the court that it was not premeditated murder because Neils “did not want to kill, he wanted to conquer death”.
Neils told the court that he had acted “on impulse” and apologized to the many victims’ relatives.
No one knows how many people he actually killed, but the investigation involves over 200 deaths, including other clinics where Neils worked over the years, including Oldenburg and Wilhelmshaven. Investigators have already exhumed eight bodies of patients that died at Delmenhorst clinic and “other exhumations will follow.”
The story was covered by The LIPtv last month:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7qb4HlpO8Y?feature=player_detailpage]