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How a Nurse Killed 2 Patients With Lethal Doses Of Insulin

In a shocking and tragic turn of events, a registered nurse from Pennsylvania, Heather Pressdee, has been charged with murder after her actions resulted in the deaths of two patients and severe harm to another. According to court records, the 40-year-old nurse faced disciplinary actions or was fired from multiple places of employment before landing at Quality Life Services, a nursing facility in Butler County, Pennsylvania, where the distressing events unfolded.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry announced the charges leveled against Pressdee, which include two counts of homicide, one count of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault, three counts of neglect of a care-dependent person, and three counts of reckless endangerment. The alleged incidents took place over a period of four months, and the prosecution claims that Pressdee administered insulin to patients who were not diabetic, leading to their untimely deaths.

Among the victims were a 55-year-old man and an 83-year-old man who tragically passed away on December 4 and December 25, respectively. A third patient, a 73-year-old man, survived but suffered significant harm after receiving a potentially-lethal dose of insulin on August 31, as per the prosecutors’ statement.

Heather Pressdee’s arrest occurred at her residence in Natrona Heights, located 23 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, according to authorities.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry expressed her dismay at the situation, stating, “The allegations in this case outline the callous abuse of incredibly vulnerable patients by a professional nurse. As the charges indicate, these were deliberate and intentional acts perpetrated by a care-giver who was trusted to care for these victims.”

Records pertaining to Pressdee’s nursing license indicate that it was issued on July 31, 2018, and was set to expire at the end of October. However, it was renewed in August 2021 and remained active until recent events.

Disturbingly, reports reveal a troubling pattern in Pressdee’s employment history. Court documents indicate that she had faced disciplinary actions at no less than eleven former nursing jobs due to alleged “abusive behavior toward patients or staff,” with resignations or terminations being the outcome at each facility. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shed light on this concerning aspect of Pressdee’s past.

Besides Quality Life Services, Pressdee had previously worked at multiple healthcare facilities across Western Pennsylvania, including Orchards of Saxonburg in Butler, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Harmarville, Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, UPMC Passavant in McCandless, Concordia at Rebecca Residence in West Deer, Guardian Healthcare (operating as Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center) in Lower Burrell, Woodhaven Care Center in Monroeville, Platinum Ridge Center for Rehabilitation & Healing in Brackenridge, Orchards of Saxonburg (again) in Butler, Premier Armstrong Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Kittanning, and Sunnyview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Butler.

Her nursing was suspended indefinitely by the state. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs sought the suspension and she agreed to the measure without admitting guilt.

This case highlights the need for stringent measures to prevent such tragedies from befalling vulnerable patients and reinforces the importance of thorough background checks and monitoring in the healthcare industry. As the legal proceedings unfold, many questions remain unanswered about how and why these unfortunate events occurred in the first place.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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