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German nurse arrested after ‘poisoning five premature babies with morphine’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A nurse has been arrested in Germany for allegedly poisoning five premature babies with morphine.

A nurse has been arrested in Germany for allegedly poisoning five premature babies with morphine.

In the early hours of December 20, five babies aged between one day and five weeks old all developed breathing problems "at almost the same time", Ulm Police Chief Bernhard Weber said.

"Only because of immediate action taken by the staff could the five lives be saved."

The babies were in the same ward at Ulm University Hospital when they suddenly fell ill.

Hospital staff initially suspected that the infants had caught an infection, but this was ruled out after urine tests revealed traces of morphine.

"The babies' conditions were stable within 48 hours and they could breathe on their own again," a spokesperson for the hospital said.

Staff notified police on January 17.

The nurse, suspected of attempted manslaughter, was taken into custody on Wednesday after investigations found a syringe containing breast milk and traces of morphine in her locker.

An investigative search took place of all employees that were on duty at the time of the incident.

"Testing confirmed the terrible suspicion that the syringe contained morphine," Ulm Prosecutor Christopher Lehre told a press conference.

The nurse is yet to be charged but faces five counts of attempted manslaughter and grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutors believe that the nurse acted with premeditation and "accepted that the babies could die".

The nurse denies poisoning the babies and her psychological state is being evaluated.

"We very much regret that this incident could have happened, and we sincerely apologise to the parents and children," the hospital said in a statement.

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All infants survived and doctors do not expect them to suffer any long-term health complications.

Source: 9News

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