Home Dutch News Heart medicine ‘killed nurse’s baby victim’

Heart medicine ‘killed nurse’s baby victim’

Published on 18/03/2004

18 March 2004

AMSTERDAM — One of the suspected victims of convicted serial killer Lucy de Berk was given a huge dose of the heart medicine digoxine before her death on 4 September 2001, a court in The Hague was told on Thursday.

Toxicologist Freek de Wolff — who drew up a report on request from the Appeals Court in The Hague — said the dose explained the baby’s illness symptoms prior to her death, public news service NOS reported.

Digoxine is a medicine that strengthens the heart muscle provided that the right doses are administered. But the margin of error is tight because the drug can swiftly become poisonous.

Baby Amber was a heart patient in the Juliana Children’s Hospital and according to her dossier, was administered the drug for the last time 50 days before her death. The toxicologist said the substance found in her blood could not be explained.

De Berk, who worked as a nurse in The Hague, was convicted last year of three murders and five attempted murders. The hospital patient deaths took place between 1997 and 2002.

The court imposed a life sentence on the so-called “killer nurse” in September 2003.

But both the prosecution — who accuses De Berk of 13 murders and five attempted murders — appealed the ruling. De Berk has also appealed against her conviction and the appeal hearing is expected to be one of the longest in Dutch legal history.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news