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Court told nurse involved in patients' condition change.

SENDAI, July 24 Kyodo

(EDS: ADDING INFORMATION)

The director of a hospital in Sendai told investigators a former male nurse was involved in all 13 cases of patients experiencing a sudden change in their condition after they were given intravenous drips, public prosecutors said Tuesday at the nurse's trial at the Sendai District Court.

Ikuko Handa, director of Hokuryo Clinic, said the condition of the 13 patients suddenly changed five to 35 minutes after being administered intravenous drips, the prosecutors said.

It was also revealed by the prosecutors that Handa had asked police to investigate the case, suspecting the involvement of the former nurse, Daisuke Mori.

According to the prosecutors, Handa told investigators that she initially thought there were simply many patients with movement disorders, as many of them suffered from a lack of physical strength.

But she told investigators she became suspicious when the condition of an 11-year-old girl hospitalized for abdominal pain also suddenly changed, the prosecutors told the court.

They also said suspicions that Mori, 30, gave lethal intravenous doses of muscle relaxant to patients are supported by the radical decrease in stocks.

Yasunobu Handa, a part-time doctor at the hospital in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, believed the sudden changes in the patients' conditions were due to their intravenous drips being laced with muscular relaxant by Mori, the prosecutors said.

Mori was indicted on charges of murdering an 89-year-old woman last November by administering muscle relaxant and attempted murder of four patients by the same method, administered either by himself or other nurses unaware of the situation, from February to November last year.

It was the second hearing in Mori's trial. He pleaded not guilty to all charges at the first hearing on July 11.

They also revealed the sloppy management of drugs at the hospital, saying one nurse told investigators that senior hospital officials did not take proper care of drugs and they were easily obtainable by any hospital worker.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jul 30, 2001
Words:326
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