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Nurse Is Charged in the Death of 5 Patients


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HOUSTON — A nurse has been charged with murdering five patients at a clinic in Lufkin, Tex., by injecting bleach into their veins while they were undergoing kidney dialysis, local authorities said Thursday.

The arrest of the nurse, Kimberly Saenz, 35, this week appeared to resolve the mystery surrounding a spike in deaths and sudden illnesses at the DaVita Dialysis clinic a year ago. State records show 19 people died at the clinic in the five months before Ms. Saenz was fired in late April 2008; that number was well above the state’s average rate.

The police say they have found evidence linking Ms. Saenz to at least five of those deaths, including three on a single day — April 1, 2008. She is also charged with sickening five other patients, who survived despite having doses of bleach added to their intravenous tubes during dialysis. If convicted, Ms. Saenz faces the death penalty.

Company officials say Ms. Saenz was fired on April 29, 2008, after a patient spotted her injecting an unusual fluid into the intravenous tube of another person undergoing dialysis.

A month later, she was arrested on assault charges in connection with patients who had become ill after receiving infusions of bleach. At the time, the police said at least two patients had seen her draw bleach into syringes and inject it into patients. Traces of bleach were also found in syringes and dialysis lines, they said.

On Tuesday, the Angelina County district attorney, Clyde Herrington, convinced a grand jury that the evidence against Ms. Saenz was strong enough to charge her with murder in five deaths. She was arrested Thursday night and was being held in the Angelina County jail without bond. Her lawyer, John Henry Tatum, did not respond to messages left at his office in Lufkin, a town of 40,000 people about 115 miles north of Houston.

DaVita, which operates 1,400 dialysis clinics across the country, maintains there was nothing in Ms. Saenz’s employment history to suggest she was a danger to patients. The company has also said managers at the clinic could not have prevented the attacks.

“This lone individual’s alleged intentional and deceptive acts have caused incredible grief for the victims’ family members,” a spokesman for the company, Richard A. Grenell, said in a statement.

But relatives of some victims said the clinic bore a measure of responsibility for what happened.

“I do feel something horrible was happening at DaVita, and the clinic is guilty of not properly supervising its staff,” John Metcalf was quoted as saying in an interview with The Lufkin Daily News. His mother, Thelma Metcalf, died at the clinic a year ago after being poisoned with bleach.

Ms. Saenz, who lives in the neighboring town of Pollock, worked as a licensed vocational nurse for nearly four years in Texas, according to the State Health Department. She began working at the clinic in the fall of 2007.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/us/03nurse.html?_r=1

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Crazy stuff going on that is for sure.

Local news here in Seattle: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/42480277.html

5 children found dead in Pierce County home

GRAHAM, Wash. - Five children have been found dead at a home near Graham, and Pierce County sheriff's deputies are investigating.

The children reportedly were all killed.

The children are between the ages of 7 and 16. The 7-year-old is a boy, and the other four victims are all girls, officials said.

Deputies went to the double-wide mobile home, in the 20400 block of 135th Avenue Court East, after a 35-year-old man believed to be their father committed suicide in King County.

After discovering the man's body, King County Sheriff’s Department asked Pierce County deputies to do a welfare check at the home.

The children's bodies were discovered shortly after 5 p.m.

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Crazy stuff going on that is for sure.

Local news here in Seattle: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/42480277.html

5 children found dead in Pierce County home

GRAHAM, Wash. - Five children have been found dead at a home near Graham, and Pierce County sheriff's deputies are investigating.

The children reportedly were all killed.

The children are between the ages of 7 and 16. The 7-year-old is a boy, and the other four victims are all girls, officials said.

Deputies went to the double-wide mobile home, in the 20400 block of 135th Avenue Court East, after a 35-year-old man believed to be their father committed suicide in King County.

After discovering the man's body, King County Sheriff’s Department asked Pierce County deputies to do a welfare check at the home.

The children's bodies were discovered shortly after 5 p.m.

Saw that when I was checking my e-mail. It is getting to the point where you can't even trust family members. I pray everyday that my family remains sane.

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your in a nursing class? :huh:

oh well then again.. you are the dr. house

to lazy to give away 10 years of my life to medical school and then debt. Planning on becoming a CRNA one day. They make more than docs(right now they make $160,000 a year) and spend only like 9 months in school. Right now I'm just starting out the process to becoming a nurse. In june I will become a CNA and work my way up to the CRNA. It takes about 5 years to become a CRNA and that's including time for work

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to lazy to give away 10 years of my life to medical school and then debt. Planning on becoming a CRNA one day. They make more than docs(right now they make $160,000 a year) and spend only like 9 months in school. Right now I'm just starting out the process to becoming a nurse. In june I will become a CNA and work my way up to the CRNA. It takes about 5 years to become a CRNA and that's including time for work

While I agree that CRNA's make bank...most anesthesiologists will make close to double what a CRNA makes.

Also, the shortest CRNA program in the United States is 24 months long...with the average program length being around 28 months long.

Not to mention CRNA programs like mucho experience in the field first.

So the length of time difference is only 2 years or so at the end of the day...but you are right about med school debt. Its ridiculous nowadays.

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While I agree that CRNA's make bank...most anesthesiologists will make close to double what a CRNA makes.

Also, the shortest CRNA program in the United States is 24 months long...with the average program length being around 28 months long.

Not to mention CRNA programs like mucho experience in the field first.

So the length of time difference is only 2 years or so at the end of the day...but you are right about med school debt. Its ridiculous nowadays.

Its the reseaon that I'm going to be working between courses. I'll work for a year and then enroll in the next program.

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to lazy to give away 10 years of my life to medical school and then debt. Planning on becoming a CRNA one day. They make more than docs(right now they make $160,000 a year) and spend only like 9 months in school. Right now I'm just starting out the process to becoming a nurse. In june I will become a CNA and work my way up to the CRNA. It takes about 5 years to become a CRNA and that's including time for work

i have to commend you on your choice of career. More people are getting into nursing now with the economy the way it is. Nothing wrong with a steady 50k+/year (average RN salary) where you can have 4 days off a week.

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i have to commend you on your choice of career. More people are getting into nursing now with the economy the way it is. Nothing wrong with a steady 50k+/year (average RN salary) where you can have 4 days off a week.

What sucks is starting out in nursing. From a CNA to LPN its a pain the behind. For a CNA your greatly underpaid for the type and amount of work you do. Like changing soiled lined, whipping residents who can't do it(usually you just wash them), and other grunt work for the RN. On the other hand your the go to person if something bad has happen.

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What sucks is starting out in nursing. From a CNA to LPN its a pain the behind. For a CNA your greatly underpaid for the type and amount of work you do. Like changing soiled lined, whipping residents who can't do it(usually you just wash them), and other grunt work for the RN. On the other hand your the go to person if something bad has happen.

CNA's are honestly the Rodney Dangerfield of the medical world....no respect. Some feel they get dumped on by everyone, especially nurses, who should know better because most nurses were CNA's at some point.

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What sucks is starting out in nursing. From a CNA to LPN its a pain the behind. For a CNA your greatly underpaid for the type and amount of work you do. Like changing soiled lined, whipping residents who can't do it(usually you just wash them), and other grunt work for the RN. On the other hand your the go to person if something bad has happen.

you aren't lying about that. are you going to have to stay an aide long or will you get into nursing school soon?

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