In one of the most gruesome cases to hit the Italian health sector in recent times, Daniela Poggiali, a nurse at a hospital in Lugo, in the northern province of Ravenna, was arrested late last week on suspicion of killing up to 38 patients with lethal doses of potassium chloride.
An investigation was launched after 78-year-old Rosa Calderoni, who was admitted to the hospital over a routine illness in April, died unexpectedly, Corriere reported.
The newspaper said Poggiali asked a colleague to take a photo of her by the lifeless body.
"Poggiali was particularly euphoric and asked me to take a photo next to the corpse: I was afraid and intimidated," the colleague told the newspaper.
Others said the nurse "joked" about giving high doses of potassium to a seriously ill patient, and that she was a "vindictive" person who would sedate patients who bothered her.
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Poggiali allegedly killed the patients “because they or their families were annoying", Corriere reported.
The investigation, which was launched following a complaint from Asl, the local health authority, has so far heard accounts from 200 witnesses.