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Nurse in UK suspected of Killing Patients

The Associated Press reports a nurse at a hospital in the United Kingdom as been arrested by Stockport police for what appears to be suspicious patient deaths at the Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, near Manchester.

According to The Guardian, a UK newspaper, the police are evaluating the deaths of five patients to determine if the nurse who was caring for them intentionally injected the patients with insulin and was “directly responsible for the patient’s death. Patients who have died under “suspicious” circumstances include: Tracey Arden, 44, George Keep, 84, and Arnold Lancaster, 71. Two other patients, who have not been identified, have also died from low blood sugar levels and their deaths are under investigation by Stockport police.

So who is potentially responsible for these deaths? Wednesday the police arrested Rebecca Leighton, 27, at her home in Heaviley, Stockport. Although she has not been charged with murder, the police are questioning her about the deaths.

Friends of the Leighton report their shock. According to Valeria Rowlinson, a friend of the suspect, "Becki always wanted to be a nurse like her mother," she told the paper. "She was very dedicated and a very hard worker. I always found her extremely committed and diligent, She was a good nurse in my opinion."

Why would Rebecca Leighton choose insulin as her potentially lethal weapon? Insulin causes the body to absorb glucose from the body. The police have found 36 bags of saline which may have been “sabotaged” with insulin, effecting over 14 patients since July 7th of this year.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Although this story is from the UK and their laws may be different, if this were to occur in the United States, the family of the deceased patients would be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the defendant, even if a criminal case against the defendant failed to prove they committed the crimes “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Medical malpractice laws in the United States allow individuals who have been injured from the negligent actions of a medical professional to receive compensation for their losses. To win a medical malpractice lawsuit you must prove that a medical professional did not provide care based on acceptable medical standards and another professional in a similar circumstance would not have acted in the same way.

Medical malpractice is part of personal injury law and can include negligent actions of medical professionals such as failing to take appropriate action for a medical condition, delaying treatment for a medical condition, misdiagnosing a medical condition or not treating a medical condition according to acceptable medical standards.

No one is perfect and even doctors will make mistakes, but doctors who make mistakes due to negligence or inattention can be held responsible. If you were injured by a doctor who was reckless or who attempts to mislead the investigation with misleading or false information can face serious professional and criminal penalties. Regardless of how you were injured, contact a medical malpractice lawyer for help.

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