A Pennsylvania nurse is charged with killing two of her patients and injuring another, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry.
Heather Pressdee, 40, of Natrona Heights, faces charges of homicide, attempted murder, aggravated assault, neglect of dependent care and reckless endangerment in connection with the death of a 55-year-old man and an 83-year-old man. old man, as well as the injury of a 73-year-old man.
“The allegations in this case describe the mistreatment of incredibly vulnerable patients by a professional nurse,” Henry said in a statement Thursday. “As the charges indicate, these were deliberate and intentional acts perpetrated by a carer who was trusted to care for these victims.”
Pressdee was a registered nurse working at Quality Life Services (QLS), a retirement nursing facility, in Chicora.
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“As a family organization that prides itself on providing safe and compassionate care, Quality Life Services is shocked and devastated to learn that the charges brought against Ms. Pressdee by the Attorney General’s office include alleged illegal activities that occurred at our QLS – Chicora facility,” QLS said in a statement posted to Facebook on Thursday.
On November 19, 2022, the 55-year-old victim and the 83-year-old victim fell ill while in Pressdee’s custody. The two victims lived in rooms connected by a Jack-and-Jill-style bathroom, according to an affidavit.
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Both victims were taken to hospital the next day where they became hypoglycaemic. The 83-year-old victim had already been taken to hospital in October 2022 for hypoglycemia.
The affidavit alleges that Pressdee gave the victims lethal doses of insulin, a hormone used to lower blood sugar levels typically given to patients with diabetes. Two of the three victims were not diabetics.
A witness, a nurse practitioner who recalled a conversation with Pressdee, told authorities the nurse said the 83-year-old victim would be “better off dead.” The nurse practitioner told authorities that all medical staff take an oath to “do no harm” to patients.
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The third victim was in Pressdee’s custody on August 31, 2022, when he was taken to hospital with low blood sugar. He was treated and survived, according to the affidavit.
When police arrived at Pressdee’s home on May 24, 2023 and questioned the suspect, she apparently admitted to injecting two of the victims with insulin.
“She said she felt bad for their quality of life and had hoped they would simply go into a coma and pass away,” the investigators wrote in the affidavit.
For the surviving victim, Pressdee said “he was in COVID isolation and going through a very difficult time.” She told investigators that the evening of August 31, 2022 “was a very busy night and he asked her to ‘kill him’.”
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Pressdee also apparently spoke with his mother on the phone with the authorities present and “informed her that she was giving insulin to patients who did not need it”.
QLS said it would continue to “fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s office as required in the investigation and prosecution of this matter” and assured its patients and their families that “all residents of Quality Life Services – Chicora are safe and receiving proper care and service.”