A Pennsylvania nurse is accused of killing two of her patients and injuring another, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry.
Heather Pressdee, 40, of Natrona Heights, is facing charges of homicide, attempted murder, aggravated assault, neglect of a care-dependent person and reckless endangerment in connection with the deaths of a 55-year-old man and an 83-year-old man, as well as the injury of a 73-year-old man.
“The allegations in this case outline the callous abuse of incredibly vulnerable patients by a professional nurse,” Henry said in a Thursday statement. “As the charges indicate, these were deliberate and intentional acts perpetrated by a care-giver who was trusted to care for these victims.”
Pressdee was a registered nurse working at Quality Life Services (QLS), a retirement nursing facility, in Chicora.
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“As a family owned organization that prides itself on providing safe and compassionate care, Quality Life Services is shocked and devastated to learn that the charges brought against Ms. Pressdee by the Attorney General’s Office include alleged illegal activity that occurred at our QLS – Chicora facility,” QLS said in a Thursday statement posted to Facebook.
On Nov. 19, 2022, the 55-year-old victim and 83-year-old victim became ill while in Pressdee’s care. The two victims lived in rooms connected by a Jack-and-Jill-style bathroom, according to an affidavit.
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Both victims were transported to the hospital the following day when they became hypoglycemic. The 83-year-old victim had been transported to the hospital once before in October 2022 for hypoglycemia.
The affidavit alleges that Pressdee gave lethal doses of insulin, a hormone used to reduce blood-sugar levels typically given to patients with diabetes, to the victims. Two of the three victims did not have diabetes.
One witness, a nurse practitioner who recalled a conversation with Pressdee, told authorities the nurse said the 83-year-old victim would be “better off dead.” The nurse practitioner told authorities that all medical personnel take an oath to “do no harm” to patients.
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The third victim was in Pressdee’s care on Aug. 31, 2022, when he was transported to the hospital with low blood-sugar levels. He was treated and survived, according to the affidavit.
When police arrived at Pressdee’s home on May 24, 2023, and interviewed the suspect, she apparently admitted to injecting two of the victims with insulin.
“She stated that she felt bad for their quality of life and she had hoped that they would just slip into a coma and pass away,” investigators wrote in the affidavit.
For the surviving victim, Pressdee said “he was in COVID isolation and that he was having a very difficult time.” She told investigators the evening of Aug. 31, 2022, “was a very busy night and that he asked her to ‘kill him.’”
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Pressdee also apparently spoke with her mother over the phone with authorities present and “informed her that she gave patients insulin that didn’t need it.”
QLS said it will continue to “fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s Office as needed in the investigation and prosecution of this matter” and assured its patients and their families that “all residents of Quality Life Services – Chicora are safe and are receiving appropriate care and service.”