Vice reported the disturbing story of an exhausted nurse accused of murder. Japanese nurse Ayumi Kubogi admitted to the killings. Two of Kubogi’s victims, aged 78 and 88, died when another nurse inadvertently administered IV drips that Kubogi had mixed with disinfectant. Another victim, aged 88, died directly at the hands of Kubogi after she administered the adulterated fluids. In a chilling admission, Kubogi told the court she planned to kill four other patients the same month and had mixed detergent into their IV drips.
The defendant said she felt no regret about what she had done, “but felt more relieved than anything at that time,” according to the Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun.
Stress and Exhaustion
Japanese broadcaster NHK reported Kubogi testified she was “mentally and physically exhausted” from the job. She blamed burnout and exhaustion for causing her to kill three elderly patients by mixing detergent into their IV drips.
Similar to the nursing home industry in America, unsafe staffing and the growing shortage of nurses in the rapidly aging nation causes burnout, exhaustion, abuse, and neglect. This has worsened the stress experienced by medical professionals in Japan. Nurses and doctors have reported getting burnt out from overwork, a phenomenon widely observed globally during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This story is another reminder that unsafe staffing hurts residents and caregivers.