The former German nurse Niels. H was responsible for the murder of around 100 patients, a toxicological assessment published by the Oldenburg State Prosecution Office has found.
Niels. H has already been sentenced to life in prison on six separate charges for having injected patients with lethal doses of medication. The perpetrator confessed seeking to reanimate his poisoned victims in an attempt to be seen as a hero at the Oldenburg and Delmenhorst clinics where he was employed.
An assessment has now come to the conclusion that at least 100 patients were killed by the nurse in this fashion.
A special commission established by police to investigate the case had to exhume more than 130 deceased former patients of Niels H. to conduct toxicological tests.
According to the investigators, a large number of murders could have been prevented.
Despite the availability of statistics which showed that the number of deaths and reanimations rose suspiciously during shifts of Niels. H, the Oldenburg clinic did not warn the Delmenhorst clinic which he subsequently transferred. Instead, the murderer received a positive professional reference upon his departure.
As a consequence, two doctors and a head nurse now face trial for manslaughter.
The German Foundation for the Protection of Patients (Deutsche Stiftung Patientenschutz) has described the case as a large-scale failure on the part of healthcare authorities and complained that screening mechanisms at hospitals in Germany were still inadequate.
The Oldenburg State Prosecution Office is expected to formally file charges against Niels H. for the outstanding murder cases early next year.