He knew how to exploit a device
that dispenses medication.
If you’re going to kill people, what better place to work than as a nurse in a hospital? Charles Cullen liked to kill people. Luckily for him, he worked as a night nurse in a hospital, a place where people’s deaths are not investigated as rigorously than if they died mysteriously on the street.
He had three major deceptive strategies: he knew which drugs were less regulated, he knew how to make those drugs lethal, and he knew how to abuse the computerized drug-dispensing device called the Pyxis Medstation:
During their attempt to stop Cullen, Homicide detectives studied his Pyxis records, but they didn’t see a smoking gun a clear pattern of drug orders by him corresponding to the hospital overdoses. What they did find were a large number of canceled orders. Cullen had realized that if he placed an order of the drug for his own patient, then quickly canceled it, the drug drawer popped open anyway. He could simply take what he wanted without recording it in the system. It was that easy.
He admitted killing 40, but some think he may have killed hundreds.
Read more (it’s short): How a Serial-Killing Night Nurse Hacked Hospital Drug Protocol, Wired>>
The article is based on the book The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber>>
Original photo, flickr>>